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'If This Was Under The Jim Gavin Era, Would This Have Come Out?'

'If This Was Under The Jim Gavin Era, Would This Have Come Out?'
Joshua Bell Curran
By Joshua Bell Curran
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Eight-time All-Ireland winner and Dublin legend Stephen Cluxton shocked GAA fans all over when he strode out of the Croke Park tunnel before Dublin's crunch game with Louth on Saturday.

Dublin welcomed Mickey Harte's Louth to Dublin for a de facto promotion play-off on Sunday afternoon. Much like the days of old Louth managed to stay with Dublin until the break but were torn apart in the second half losing by seven points. The result, resigning the Wee County to another year in the second tier, while Dublin marched on to a league final with promotion in the back pocket.

Despite the successes, Dublin have looked like a shell of their former selves this League campaign, blooding new talent while hoping the old guard of Jack McCaffrey, Paul Mannion and the seemingly ageless Stephen Cluxton can spark a revival. However, the unexpected return of Cluxton has some wondering whether Dublin are a trojan horse or when the nostalgia wears off, just a side desperately clinging onto a generation of bygone players?

Lee Keegan on what the return of Stephen Cluxton Means

Speaking on Allianz League Sunday, Mayo great Lee Keegan raised plenty of questions about what Cluxton's return spells for a struggling Dublin. Keegan himself knows better than anybody the class of the 'greatest keeper we've ever witnessed' yet even he was struggling to see the positives of this move.

It seems like a bit of a distraction from Dublin

Listen it's a great story, it's great to see Stephen Cluxton back. But if this was under the Jim Gavin era would this have come out, would this have been a distraction?

Even with the Jack McCaffrey we only seen him against Cork [note -he also played against Clare] we don't know what's going on with him is he injured? is he going to be playing more frequently?

Great to see Mannion back today but just feels like theres a couple of distractions with Dublin.

These kinds of stories we don't usually associate with them too often.


It's not the first time the return of a Dublin legend has been the headline distraction. Back in 2019 with Jim Gavin on his drive for five, Diarmuid Connoly made a sensational mid-season return to the panel dominating GAA news all week, Dublin would go on to win their fifth consecutive All-Ireland that year.


As Dublin now set out to prepare for their Division Two league final against Derry next weekend Dessie Farrell was asked whether Cluxton was only back as a reserve. His answer now has us all wondering what's next for Dessie, Dublin and Sam Maguire.

I would have thought not, no. Knowing the man.

Is it possible that we could see Stephen Cluxton line out in blue for one more shot at glory? Last week it was unimaginable. Next week, it'd be no surprise to see him walking up the steps of the Hogan Stand once again, presuming Dublin can beat Derry.



SEE ALSO: GAA: Five Players Who Memorably Came Out Of Retirement

GAA retirement sagas Stephen Cluxton Paul Galvin



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