Stephen Cluxton says he is ‘absolutely delighted’ by his appointment as Dublin senior football captain for 2013, which was confirmed by manager Jim Gavin immediately after the Allianz League Division I win over Cork on Saturday night.
I had a good think about it and Jim assured me about my role so I was happy enough to take it on board. Hopefully I can do the job that is requested of me.
Cluxton, a four-time All Star and an All-Ireland winner, takes over in the role from Bryan Cullen, who captained Dublin to their first All-Ireland win in 16 years in 2011.
“Delighted, absolutely delighted,” Cluxton said of his appointment.
Gavin outlined his reasons for selecting Cluxton as captain, and was effusive in his praise of the Parnells goalkeeper.
“Stephen is an outstanding football player, an outstanding athlete and an exemplary individual,” the Dublin manager said. “He sets the highest standards for himself and those around him. That's what I am looking for in a captain and he ticks all those boxes.
“The team is full of leaders, there is a lot of guys in that dressing room who have won a lot. There were lots of guys who have leadership potential and show that on the pitch. Just for me, Stephen is the guy who’s the standard bearer on the football field.”
Asked if he had to think about taking on the responsibility, Cluxton admitted that he had sought some reassurances from his manager.
“I had a good think about it and Jim assured me about my role so I was happy enough to take it on board. Hopefully I can do the job that is requested of me.”
He added: “To be honest I just put my head down and train as hard as I can. If Jim thinks that’s leadership well I’ll take it on my shoulders, take it on board. There’s so many leaders in that dressing room there’s no need to have one particular one.”
“I am only learning and obviously Jim is going to help me and guide me along if he thinks I need to buck up on things.”
Cluxton said he was happy with Dublin’s performance in the 1-18 to 2-9 victory over reigning Allianz League champions Cork, and particularly with some of the performances from the younger players given a chance by Gavin.
“I think they were probably a bit off the pace tonight,” Cluxton added. “We had a lot of guys that were itching to get games and obviously because Jim has come in they were given an opportunity to express themselves. Each fella has an opportunity to nail down a spot come championship.”
Meanwhile, Gavin revealed that young midfielder Paul Mannion had suffered concussion in a second half incident that forced a lengthy stoppage to the game, but had not sustained any serious injuries.
“Paul had concussion and he is hospital at the moment. He will be under assessment for a few hours but thankfully it’s not serious,” Gavin said.
“David Hickey, the team doctor, just let me know afterwards that he was comfortable and it was nothing serious so that’s what I know.”
Gavin added that he was concerned by the concession of two goals and the number of goal chances his side had conceded.
“Certainly, we will look at the video tonight and there will be some hard questions asked as to why that happened from a players’ perspective.”