Darran O'Sullivan thinks Stephen Cluxton's Dublin return will be 'sideshow'
"You have to move on."
The whole GAA world was shocked to see Cluxton named on the bench for his county as they prepared to play Louth in Division Two on Sunday.
The veteran goalkeeper disappeared from the sport two years ago, and made no official comment or statement to announce his retirement at the time.
As suddenly as he left, he has now returned, and although the presence of such a legend coming back is clearly a positive thing, it might actually highlight some negatives too.
Former Kerry star O'Sullivan revealed on the latest episode of the GAA Hour, that things are not particularly well in the camp if you're calling for all of your retired players to come back.
Jack McCaffrey and Paul Mannion have also made their way back into the squad after leaving the team for a couple of years, and despite the clear talent on display, it doesn't send the best message.
"We all know what Cluxton was, and what he is, but bringing a 41-year-old back, and like the squad looks way better now with Cluxton, McCaffrey, Mannion, McCarthy, and all of the names that we knew for so long, but you have to move on. You have to move on," said O'Sullivan.
"The fact that they brought him back - and Dessie came out and was on about injuries - but I'm sure there are other young goalies around the place.
"It's a sideshow, it's a distraction - they got promoted, they got the goal that they wanted, but they're definitely not motoring.
"The squad, when you see it on paper - Cluxton, McCaffrey, McCarthy, all the old names - like he's not coming back to sit on the bench, he's coming back to play.
"Every one of them goalies, in training at the moment, they know that he did not come back at the stage in his life to sit on the bench.
"It's serious pressure - in the first round of the Leinster championship I would be knocking in high balls on top of him because there's serious pressure on him now as well.
"Time will tell, but I do think there is a big problem. I think Lee Keegan said it (on The Sunday Game) - your smart money going into the league final would be on Derry, but and maybe it's because of history, but there has to be some kick in Dublin.
"We're waiting on it, we've been waiting it for the last while, but there has to be a kick in them. I think they might see it in the league final; they have a way of edging games out, but time will tell.
"Derry have been excellent throughout the league and they put ut a bit of a shadow team at the weekend, rested a few players, and Cork got a good result, a late goal to equalise, but we kind of knew from a long way out that division Two was going to be Derry and Dublin."
You can listen to the full discussion on the latest episode of The GAA Hour here: Monaghan’s houdini men, Cluxton’s return and what actually happens in training camps.
- Stephen Cluxton is back
- "Man, could he run!" - Darran O'Sullivan recalls the greyhound that bossed Kerry pre-season training
- Darran O'Sullivan says that divers in GAA need to be "named and shamed"