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01st Aug 2023

“I totally disagree with the last dance” – Ó Sé doesn’t think Cluxton, McCarthy and Fitzsimons will retire

Niall McIntyre

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Marc Ó Sé was in a very similar position to James McCarthy and Michael Fitzsimons back in 2014.

Kerry had just won the All-Ireland, he was 34 years of age and everyone was asking him if that was that.

Ó Sé says many different factors convinced him to stay on but the biggest one of all was that he was still a key member of the team – he was still at the top of his game.

James McCarthy is 33. Michael Fitzsimons is Fitzsimons is 34 and whatever is going through their minds right now, whether they’ve thought about it or not, one thing they’ll have to acknowledge is that they both still have something to offer.

McCarthy, let’s not forget, is being talked about as a potential player of the year while Fitzsimons managed to hold David Clifford to 0-2 from play in 70 minutes. That’s no mean feat.

“We’re talking about the last dance for the Dublin lads, but I totally disagree with the last dance. They won the All-Ireland,” Ó Sé said on Monday’s GAA Hour.

“We’re all talking about James McCarthy, Dean Rock, Michael Fitzsimons, Cluxton retiring. It’s all about this narrative at the minute, but I totally disagree.

“I think they’ll be around for a while. It’s very hard to leave after winning, it’s like a rollercoaster you want to stay on,” says Ó Sé.

“It’s not just calls you make on your own, these are family calls, they’re calls where careers come into it. I don’t know the boys personally, but everyone has to make their own call.

“For me, I played in the 2016 National League final against Dublin. I was actually 36 on the day that the game was on and I was marking Bernard Brogan, and he got 0-4 on me. I knew after that, that this was it, game over.

“I didn’t start a championship game after that, came on alright, but that was it for me. When I wasn’t starting, I felt I wasn’t having the same influence on the team and that was the end for me really,” Ó Sé added.

“But why would they step off? he added.

“For me Fitzsimons is still one of the best man-markers in the game, if not the best. I think the boys can be as good next year, but it is their decision.”

“For me, if I was Dean Rock, it would be a bit easier, because that was the way I was going down the stretch, and when you’re not getting your game-time, definitely, it’s very easy.

“Dean was one of the main men, the go-to-guy. Now he’s not on the team, but Dean has had an incredible career, I met him on a few occasions, a lovely fella too.”

On the subject of staying on, Ó Sé hopes Jack O’Connor stays on for Kerry.

“Jack has this innate ability to go when he needs to go, and then put his hat in the ring when he needs to come back. But I’d like to see him to stay on, because I think these players need him to stay on at the moment. I think they’ve a bit of unfinished business.”

Related articles:

The GAA Hour: Marc Ó Sé chats Dublin vs. Kerry and shares some Páidí Ó Sé classics

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