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14th Jan 2023

Tyrone manager labels David Clifford as ‘Messi of Croke Park’

Lee Costello

“He’s one of the best I’ve seen.”

Tyrone manager Feargal Logan believes that Kerry’s David Clifford is the ‘Messi of Croke Park’ and is looking forward to seeing his home club take on the superstar.

Stewartstown Harps are through to the All-Ireland Junior club final, but need to beat Kerry’s Fossa who happen to be spearheaded by the best footballer on the planet at the moment.

Throw in the fact that his brother and fellow All-Star, Paudie Clifford is in the team as well, then it’s clear that the Tyrone side will have their hands full.

David Clifford Messi

However, Logan, who proudly hails from Stewartstown, is relishing the opportunity to watch his community take on the best in the business.

“We’re heading down and taking on the Messi of Gaelic football in the spiritual home of Gaelic Games,” said Logan, who was player-manager for the 2005 final defeat.

“I can’t think of a better Sunday afternoon so let’s just see how it goes.

David Clifford Messi

“Peter Armour and Blake Smyth (who were team-mates in ’05) and Paul Dillon have played a blinder to this point. They are wholly entrusted by all of us to go and do the business,” added Logan.

“Let’s see how they match up with David Clifford, Paudie Clifford and the 13 other Kerrymen they’re going to come up against.”

Logan added: “The bottom line is that David Clifford is a supreme footballer but he’s one of 15 and it’s all about work rate and a lot of things can happen around the play so you wouldn’t want to get overly focused on him.

David Clifford Messi

“But it is right to say he puts bums on seats all over Ireland because he’s such a special footballer and he’s got such unique talent and he’s so skilful.

“I’ve seen quite a few and I’ve played up close with some of the greats.

“He’s one of the best I’ve seen. He’s got a skill set that’s hard to match. He’s a more modern version of Maurice Fitzgerald in terms of his striking of the ball.

“He’s a joy to watch but I’ll never put my head on the block with that when I’m managing with Brian Dooher and running about with a few Tyrone boys – I couldn’t quite go that far.”

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