Kerry's David Clifford won’t go straight to top

David Clifford’s meeting with Éamonn Fitzmaurice does not mean the teenage prodigy will bypass the U20 grade and line out for the Kerry seniors in 2018, board chairman Tim Murphy has insisted.

Murphy yesterday welcomed the revelation in Friday’s Examiner Sport that Clifford has committed to Kerry for next season, stressing also that no decision has yet been made as to which squad the All-Ireland minor winning captain will be part of.

“We’re absolutely thrilled and over the moon that David has confirmed he’ll be with us in 2018,” Murphy told Radio Kerry.

“I think everyone in Kerry and in the GAA, generally, will be delighted with the news. It is a great boost for us.

“He would have met with our manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice in the last week and a half. There is no expectation on David’s part that he’ll be automatically into the senior team. He has just committed to Kerry. How that will unfold, in terms of the U20s and the seniors, will pan out next year. The fact he has committed to Kerry is the important thing here.”

Former Kerry captain Billy O’Shea added: “The fact he has decided to stay at home is refreshing news. I know his father Dermot is a great Kerryman and I’m sure he had a huge influence in his decision. At least, for the foreseeable future, it is nice to know he’ll be featuring in the green and gold.”

O’Shea added: “He has the physique [for senior]. He doesn’t get fazed by the big occasion, he has the mentality. He has all the attributes to be a wonderful senior footballer.”

Meanwhile, Colin Ryan has become the second Clare hurler to announce his retirement this week.

Following on from Brendan Bugler, 29-year old Ryan yesterday called time on his inter-county career.

Ryan was not part of the Clare set-up this year, having confirmed back in January that he was taking a break from the inter-county scene.

“After a year out and a new addition, it’s time to call it a day,” he tweeted. “Been an honour to wear the jersey.”

The Newmarket-on-Fergus forward made his debut in 2007 and scored seven points during Clare’s 2013 All-Ireland final replay win over Cork.

He finished that season as the championship’s top-scorer.

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