"We need to let him live his life and we need to do our own thing" - Dessie Farrell calls time on Stephen Cluxton's career
"Stephen won't be involved this year."
Without actually uttering a word, it appears that Stephen Cluxton has retired from representing Dublin at county level.
Undoubtedly the greatest goalkeeper to grace the game in GAA history, Cluxton never enjoyed the spotlight, especially when it came to making statements and chatting to the media.
An insanely focused, and driven individual, he lifted the Sam Maguire an incredible eight times, but most famously in 2011, he was the man who stood up when his county needed him most.
In the dying seconds against Kerry with everything all square, the now 40-year-old kicked the vital score to send the capital into pandemonium, ending a 16-year wait for glory.
Not that you could tell by his face, as his expression remained exactly the same as he jogged back to his goal after scoring probably the most famous point in Dublin's history.
Without any confirmation as to why, the goalkeeper didn't feature in Dessie Farrell's side last season, and although he never came out to say he was retired, many speculated as such.
The Dublin manager has confirmed that this is still the case, as he explains to the Irish Independent that their former captain won't be around in 2022.
"Stephen won't be involved this year. He wasn't involved last year. Stephen is not one for big announcements, as you know," Dublin boss Farrell said after Saturday's O'Byrne Cup win over Offaly.
"No fanfare, no official announcements from him in that regards but Stephen won't be involved this year.
"And I think out of respect to him, we need to let him live his life and we need to do our own thing. We know the position, hopefully everybody else knows it at this stage now."
Farrell also revealed that, as things stand, Paul Mannion and Jack McCaffrey would not be involved either in 2022.
“I’ve a very good relationship with Paul going back to development squad years, we are in very regular communication. Paul has been clear as to why he has stepped away, his position hasn’t changed and we respect that,” said Farrell who added that he didn’t expect McCaffrey to return either.
The Dublin boss said the squad had spent the last few months reflecting on their All-Ireland semi-final exit to Mayo.
“It was definitely a time for reflection, and in the situation we found ourselves in that’s all you can do. You can just look back and review and try to take the learnings from last season, and look for those dimensions you can improve on and make things better for the season ahead.
“That would be quite typical in a situation like we found ourselves in. We’ve gone through that process now and looking forward to the season ahead.”