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Paul Geaney Explains What Needs To Be Done To Keep David Clifford At Home

PJ Browne
By PJ Browne

David Clifford is being guarded in Kerry like a precious natural resource, one which could fuel their All-Ireland ambitions for years to come. The worry: the big multinational - in this scenario an AFL club - might swoop in and steal it from under their noses.

Though he will likely be competing with David Clifford for a spot in the Kerry team, should he remain in Ireland and not be lured to Australia, Paul Geaney hopes that he will stay.

Geaney can feel the pressure piling on from an all-time great Dublin team, a juggernaut that might be about to reach an unstoppable pace. He knows Clifford can contribute and be the main man for the Kingdom in the near future.

The Dingle player, speaking at the launch of PwC's sponsorship of the All-Stars, believes that the two-time minor All-Ireland winner will do alright if he chooses amateur sport over the professional life. "He can achieve more by staying at home. He will do fine career-wise as well, people around will look after him," said Geaney this week.

It's not that long since Geaney lost a club mate to Aussie rules. Mark O'Connor was one of Kerry's most promising players from the last four years of minor success. Last year, he moved to Australia and the Geelong Cats. Seven months later, he had made his senior debut.

Geaney believes that Clifford's skill set might not translate to the Australian game as easily as O'Connor's.

Mark was a different story, he wanted to play in the AFL from 16 years of age on. He was a different prospect as well, a different type of player as well.

Mark is extremely athletic, a good fielder out the field but he was not a scorer as such and maybe David’s talent may not directly translate into being a good AFL footballer because it is more about being athletic than skills-based.

The skills in it are catch/kick and fast hands. You don’t often see a guy bouncing it in the AFL so it is totally different and they are two different prospects. I don’t think it would suit David as much whereas the AFL suits Mark.

Hopefully, we won’t even be debating it next year.

Though he thinks the county board should not give Clifford any special treatment, Geaney feels that the people of Kerry should do all they can to ensure the Fossa man stays at home. That includes making sure that he has a job.

It is hard to say that because where do you draw the line? You can’t be doing one thing for one player and something else for another so it would have to be fair across the board. There were other young Kerry minors playing on Sunday that might turn out to be the best seniors. It would be unfair to do it for one and not for all.

We should try everything in our power to try and keep him at home but I think he is happy enough. He is in his second year in IT Tralee and I think there is a county board scholarship with the IT so he has that at the moment. That is part of it.

It is making sure that he has a career as well at home; that there are options put forward to him by Kerry people; that we give him a job and look after him in that way is what we will have to do.

PwC's sponsorship of the PwC All-Stars was celebrated with an event at Croke Park. Uachtarán Chumann Lúthcleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail, GPA Chief Executive Dermot Earley and Feargal O'Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC were joined by Galway's All Ireland winning hurling captain David Burke, Waterford hurling captain Kevin Moran and Kerry footballer Paul Geaney at the event. Pictured is Kevin Moran of Waterford in attendance during the PwC All-Stars hurling nominations at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

See Also: Kevin Moran And Derek McGrath Work Relationship Proves Rawness Of Waterford Loss

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