David Clifford reason for turning down Aussie Rules is everything we hoped for 2 years ago

David Clifford reason for turning down Aussie Rules is everything we hoped for

The path lies directly ahead but it has yet to be forged.

David Clifford knows what he wants and it is green and gold.

Not content with helping the Kerry minors to back-to-back All-Irelands, the teenager will spurn any advances from Aussies Rules clubs to bring him Down Under in the coming years.

In Clifford's 12 minor appearances, over 2016 and 2017, he scored 10-68, of which 10-50 came from play.

Following his four goals in a man-of-the-match performance against Derry in last month's final, fans across the country urged him not to leave these shores.

Since that game, Clifford has won a minor All Star and was named player of the year. He has also been the subject of fierce speculation about a move to Australia.

Speaking to SportsJOE at an International Rules press conference, AFL star [and Tyrone native] Conor McKenna told us:

"David is unbelievable, I watched him in the final and he’s a very good player. I’m sure he’d (adapt quickly). He’s unbelievable.

"I’d say to any young fella if you got the opportunity, like I said I’d go and if I didn’t like it I’d come back after a year."

There are no guarantees when young Irish GAA players head to Australia to try their hand at AFL but Clifford's physique, athleticism and poise would see him in demand.

Fortunately for fans of The Kingdom, Clifford is not for moving.

On Radio Kerry's 'Terrace Talk', the forward told Tim Moynihan that he would "definitely" be committing to the Kerry football panel in 2018. "My mother wouldn't let me go," he joked.

"Of course [I have thought about it] and there are a lot of alluring factors that might lure you in.

"But the one thing, personally and it's something I've said to some of my friends, I grew up dreaming of playing for Kerry. I never grew up dreaming of being an Aussie Rules player.

"Obviously, as you say, the weather down there may be better and it's a professional game but in my near future I'm just hoping to keep progressing in the Kerry jersey and the Fossa jersey too." 

Stirring words from the young Kingdom star but, as he well knows, the hard work on that path to becoming a Kerry legend is only beginning.

You can listen to the Clifford clip below and the full interview on the Terrace Talk podcast.