David Clifford's feet firmly planted on the ground
By John Harrington
Kerry supporters will be relieved to hear there’s no danger of David Clifford losing the run of himself anytime soon.
The 2018 PwC All-Star and Young Footballer of the Year is already be a household name at the age of 19, but his feet are very much planted firmly on the ground.
“There are loads of fellows out there, be it my friends and people in the club who would bring you back down to earth straight away if they thought you were getting too big-headed,” said Clifford.
“You try and avoid the hype and that is what I tend to do. I come from a very strong GAA family and the big message from my father was always to stay grounded.”
Big things were expected of Clifford in his maiden year as a senior inter-county footballer, but the extent to which he excelled was still remarkable.
He gives a lot of credit for the ease with which he made the transition from minor to senior football to recently retired Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice.
“I will be forever thankful to Eamonn for giving me the chance,” said Clifford.
“The professionalism of that man is something to behold, it is ridiculous in that every single minor little detail was covered. He was unbelievable. The Kerry players know how thankful we are to him.
“I was not going so well in the league and he stuck with me. I started in the first championship game then and that was a massive lift for me. It relieved a small bit of the pressure the fact that I was in (the team). He was unbelievable.”
Clifford was sad to see Fitzmaurice go, but he believes Kerry have made a great appointment by naming Peter Keane as his successor as Kerry manager.
Clifford won two All-Ireland minor medals under Keane, and knows how much quality he brings to the table.
“I worked with Peter for two years so it should be an exciting few years ahead,” said Clifford. “It’s great that Peter is the man at the helm.”