Stephen Cluxton was named as the PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year this evening, an award that was long overdue. The Dublin goalkeeper has been one of the best players in the country for over a decade, singlehandedly revolutionising the position.
He also received his first PwC All-Star since 2013, capping off what has been a stunning year for the five in-a-row winning captain.
Speaking at the awards this evening, Cluxton's relentless nature came to light. He revealed that he turns up to Dublin training two hours before it starts so he can get in an hour of extra training as well as how he spent the day after drawn All-Ireland final.
— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) November 1, 2019
A typical day this year would have been home from school at 3:50pm, leave for training at 4:40pm for training at 7pm.
I'd get there at 5pm, go out there with my goalkeeping coach Josh, go out from 6pm-7pm and do our stuff, then go back in for a team meeting and start training with the team...
I knew at the time, being a man down, the game was closing out and Kerry needed a major turn to get back into it and even pip us.
Trying to keep a clean sheet was the main focus and trying to get the team through it.
But he has such quick feet, he dodged from right to left very quickly and I didn't get enough time to shift my feet.
The next day we had the laptop out. Jim (Gavin) was holding the laptop and the three goalkeepers and Josh saying we could have done this or that. We spent about two hours going over it, trying to replicate is so it wouldn't happen again.
Cluxton was also asked if he would return to the team next year. Now 38-years old, he has suffered some niggling injuries over the past couple of seasons.
He said he would make a decision in the coming weeks, and was certainly non-committal about a return to the panel.
Obviously you love playing the game, you'll do anything to play. The mind the same thing, it's probably the body.
I need to sit down with the physios and the doctors to see if I can get through another year, to be honest. I've had a couple of niggly injuries, so you just don't know.
There's a small (chance) alright.