"When I'm older, I'll tell people I was lucky to play with David Clifford" - Kieran Donaghy 2 years ago

"When I'm older, I'll tell people I was lucky to play with David Clifford" - Kieran Donaghy

Cut from a very similar cloth.

Five games. Four goals and 18 points with an impressive shooting accuracy and kilometres of hard-running and harrying done off the ball.

David Clifford's first season in the Kerry senior panel ended at the quarter final [Super 8s] stage but he is "nailed on" for an All Star. Colm Parkinson is convinced the 19-year-old will get the accolade later this year and few would argue with him right now.

The GAA Hour host was joined by Kerry legend Kieran Donaghy on the latest show and [from 19:00 below] raved about the instant impact of the Fossa clubman.

Big things were predicted for Clifford as far back as 2014. From starring in schools competitions to inspiring the Kerry minors to two All-Ireland triumphs, Clifford has excelled at whatever challenge was flung his way.

He made his senior debut in the Allianz Football League and chipped in with 21 points from six games. Add that to his championship today and that is 4-39 (51 points) from 11 games. Donaghy has been impressed with Clifford since he arrived into the senior set-up.


"Well," he began, "I took money off him on the golf course last week! But he's good at that too.

"We were having a sing-song after one of the games, this year, and the lads said, 'Go on David, sing a song'.

"I turned around to the fella next to me and I said, 'Check this out. He'll be good at this too!' ... and out he blasts some Luke Kelly classic.

"I'll probably say, when I'm older, that I was lucky to play with him for a season and was in there, in the mix. That Clones game [against Monaghan] will probably be on his highlight reel for the next 15 years, and my paw [setting up his equalising goal] will be involved in it.

"He's part of this new generation and he's so mature. He's a serial winner, too, with minors and Hogan Cups. That's all he knows, is performing on the big days and playing well.

"I never had any doubts about him, but as soon as you're around and near him you know. I didn't even talk to him before the Kildare game. I'd been in his ear for that Monaghan game, saying, 'We'll be tested here, big time.'

"But I looked over after five minutes [against Monaghan] and he was handling his own business. I didn't have to say anything to him."

Donaghy is a sizeable entity himself, big and broad, but even he is impressed with the physical stature of Clifford. "He's a big man," he says, "he can play off both feet, he's smart and he's brave.

"He's a good teammate and he's kind of like Gooch [Colm Cooper] in that he always picks out the right guy with a pass. He's not going to be out there trying to be kicking 10 or 11 points a match. It's great that he's Kerry and that we'll get to see a footballer of his ability really coming through in the next few years."

Donaghy says there are no fears that Clifford will get carried away with having so much thrust upon him at such a young age. He says:

"When he speaks, he's already carrying it. When an older guy in the panel talks, you can see everyone listening to him. It's the same [with Clifford]. He's a born leader.

"He was outstanding for us this year. There was no game he played for us were you could say, 'You didn't do what you were supposed to'. He was magnificent. Probably without him, we'd be under massive pressure."