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Jim Gavin embraces his father, Jimmy, after the 2019 All Ireland SFC Final replay at Croke Park.
Jim Gavin embraces his father, Jimmy, after the 2019 All Ireland SFC Final replay at Croke Park.

Jim Gavin praises Stephen Cluxton's influence

By Cian O'Connell

Jim Gavin praised Stephen Cluxton's rich contribution to Dublin's fifth All Ireland title in a row at Croke Park.

Cluxton made a fine save to deny Stephen O'Brien in the 54th minute with Gavin highlighting that as a vital moment in the match.

“That’s the result of hundreds of hours,” Gavin stated. “I’ve seen that, if you look back on his stance, that’s not the first time I’ve seen that.

“Josh Moran, his goalkeeping coach, and the goalkeeping coaches that have worked with him deserve credit for that. That’s something that you see replicated. I saw it earlier on this week.

“I saw it the day after the replay, him spending two hours on the pitch with Evan Comerford and Michael Shields from Sylvester’s, the goalkeeping coach.

“The three of them working on trying to rectify his positioning for Killian Spillane’s goal in the first game.

“So that’s someone who’s dedicated to their craft, and the result of that is what you see in those clutch moments, to have that composure to make himself big and strong and just do his job. That’s what Stephen does – he does his job.”

Gavin hailed the influence of Cluxton, who enjoyed another hugely productive campaign for the standard bearers.

“He had a laptop, trying to replay in slow motion what way his feet and positioning were,” Gavin added.

“That somebody who’s a master of his craft. Through that example, he inspires people around him.

“Stephen is well able to talk, he’s very articulate and people listen. But how he demonstrates, his actions, that’s what I’m interested in. That’s what he does. He’s a do-er.”

Eoin Murchan also made a significant impact, but Gavin wasn’t surprised by the effectiveness of the Na Fianna clubman.

“Yeah, listen it was a great set move from the throw-in,” Gavin commented about Murchan’s 36th minute goal.

“Really well executed by the team collective you'd have to say. A really nice execution at the end of the move by Eoin. I've seen it before from him, don't think anybody was surprised when it hit the net. You are surprised maybe to get that space from the opening play.

“Eoin did really well, he really committed himself, it is what you see from them when you are with them that often. They all have jobs to do, when we meet it is very brief. So your time is precious with them, but they are a great team, great men to work with.”

While talk of Dublin completing a five in a row swirled around the country, Gavin wasn’t overly concerned about it.

“I haven't really thought about it like that,” Gavin replied. “It is a fact, I'm not denying that it is a fact. It is great for the county, but our primary aim was to get a performance.

“I'm not trying to dismiss it in any shape or form, it is phenomenal for Dublin GAA for this to happen, but when you are going into a game like this you have to focus on trying to get your game plan, game and process right.

“That is what delivers a performance like you saw today. The result is the outcome of that. Obviously it is a fantastic honour for Dublin, absolutely.”

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