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What if Kerry unleash David Clifford during the National League?


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As Kerry prepare for lift-off in the 2018 Allianz Football League, there is plenty of anticipation about what role minor star David Clifford could play for the seniors.

A dominant and physically imposing player at his age grade, his potential is vast. But will Kerry ease him in or thrust him straight into the senior spotlight? 

Former Armagh footballer Aaron Kernan and ex-Meath midfielder Anthony Moyles joined Nathan to preview the league campaign and in regards to how to deploy Clifford, Kernan pointed to the example of the way Con O'Callaghan was unfazed and made an impact for Dublin last year, including scoring a goal in the All Ireland final.  

"Con O'Callaghan. Simple. How did he do? Did [Dublin] hold him back? Did anyone think he wasn't up to it? David Clifford has absolutely everything. He has the confidence as well to go with it. He has the physique," said Kernan, who expects that Clifford will get special treatment in the shape of strength and conditioning to get him ready for what senior football brings.

And he believes Clifford's presence will have implications for his team-mates in the most positive sense.

"If Kerry are getting their full team out and they have no injuries, somebody's going to get a lesser quality of man-marker. So if David Clifford gets the top man for defensive duties, Paul Geaney and James O'Donoghue, they've a wee bit more time or space or not the same focus on them. So it helps Kerry even by his presence being there if other teams are really going to focus on him," said Kernan, also pointing out that National League game-time will help him develop at even more incremental rate.

Moyles echoed those points, adding that, "Because he's so big, they can drift him out at times, play him at 11 or hang around midfield. So if they feel there's a lot of pressure on him, they can move him out a bit." 


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