Former teammate Flynn stands up for Cluxton after Sunday Game criticism
Paul Flynn has defended his former teammate Stephen Cluxton after the goalkeeper was criticised for keeping Dublin in the dark over his inter-county future.
It's all up in the air for Dublin and for Dessie Farrell after the manager revealed on Sunday that Cluxton has stepped away from the Dublin panel but hasn't yet retired. With no date, no clarity and no certainty provided to his teammates and coaches, it has meant that, inadvertently, one of the most 'under the radar' players in GAA history has moved himself to centre stage.
It was on The Sunday Game when Colm O'Rourke's thoughts went out to Evan Comerford, who, by the information that's in the public sphere anyway, couldn't really know if he'll be a starting goalie or a sub-goalie with the championship nearing. O'Rourke leant on the words of NBA legend Pat Reilly to say that when it comes to commitment, 'you're either in or you're out.'
"I find the whole thing strange," said the Meath man. You would think that he would let the management know where he stands. Where does Evan Comerford stand in all of this?
"Pat Reilly, the famous basketball coach, said that when it comes to commitment you’re either in or out. There’s no in between.
"I think Dessie Farrell is put in a very invidious position. I’m quite surprised that Cluxton hasn’t made it clear, 'I’m coming back at some stage or I’m not coming back, It would be much fairer to Comerford if he said that."
The Sunday Game panel believe that Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton should provide clarity on his future to manager Dessie Farrell. pic.twitter.com/qhCZtuHqoZ
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 4, 2021
Sitting alongside O'Rourke, Tomás Ó Sé came down on the same line of thinking, urging Cluxton to show the team and management some respect.
"One side of me is saying, ‘Cluxton is a legend, he has been there so long and given so much to Dublin, he’s entitled to his break."
"The other side of me is saying, ‘tell him if you’re retired. If you’re finished just say it.’
"He owes Dublin nothing, you’d need a full show to give him justice on what he’s achieved. But we’re in the middle of a championship.
"If he’s going to go, just tell the management. They can tell everybody else he doesn’t talk to the media. Give the team and the management a bit of respect."
Paul Flynn sees it from another side, referring to The Sunday Game discussion as 'nonsense.' The Fingallians man says that 'nobody knows what's going on in any player's life as to why they want a break.'
Stephen Cluxton deserves time and space if he needs/wants it. It’s an amateur sport, he isn’t contracted or obligated play. He can opt in or out or be deselected at any time! Nobody knows what’s going on in any players life as to why they need/ want a break. Nonsense on the SG!
— Paul Flynn (@Flinto23) July 5, 2021
Indeed, there have been a number of murmurs and rumours regarding the Covid training breach, hinting that Cluxton was unhappy that the squad were training when they shouldn't have been.
Either way, this championship campaign will be finished in less than two months so it won't be long before this story takes another twist.