The secret is… there is no secret.
In 2010, Dublin’s goalkeeper coach Gary Matthews changed everything.
All he had to do was tell Stephen Cluxton he could do whatever he wanted to. It was a decent decision.
In that time, the Dublin stopper has gone from one of the most respected number ones in the land to become a game-changer. A legend.
Cluxton is like a quarterback now. He controls Dublin’s movements, he starts every attack and his skill with the ball on the cone has been something that no-one has managed to stop yet.
On SportsJOE’s GAA Hour football podcast, former All-Ireland winner Barry Cahill revealed the inside scoop on the county’s kickout strategy.
And there’s not really any strategy at all.
“It’s his call,” Cahill said. “There was no real set time or drills or conversations. There was no tapping your leg or tapping your arm or a different colour cone to put the ball on.
“We had a three-second rule that, when the ball went dead, Stephen would get another ball and have it on the cone within three seconds and get it going again. But he called the shots and everyone just sort of scattered in different areas to create the gaps.
“Ideally, he still wants us to win the ball as high up the pitch as possible. He doesn’t want to go 15 yards every time, he’d rather go 50 yards up the pitch if he can but it’s totally down to his call.”
Listen to The GAA Hour football podcast with Colm Parkinson featuring Michael Murphy where we discuss Dublin v Donegal (Cluxton chat starts at 43:53). Subscribe here on iTunes.