Cluxton’s clear-the-air call to Ó Sé

DUBLIN’S All-Ireland winner Stephen Cluxton has made contact with Tomás Ó Sé to explain he did not mean any disrespect by kicking away the All-Ireland final ball presented to him by the Kerryman after September’s dramatic decider.

The Ireland International Rules captain tracked down Ó Sé’s mobile number and spoke with him to ensure his opponent wasn’t offended by the incident just seconds after the final whistle.

Cluxton had initially accepted the ball from Ó Sé before kicking it away a short time later as he made his way back to the dressing room. The moment, captured by photographer Daire Brennan, was seen as an act of sportsmanship by the multiple All-Ireland winner. Ó Sé had been in possession of the ball when referee Joe McQuillan blew the final whistle shortly after the Dublin goalkeeper kicked the winning free in injury-time.

A source close to Cluxton has confirmed: “Stephen wanted to make sure that Tomás did not interpret what he did as a show of disrespect. He’d have the height of respect for Ó Sé.”

Cluxton, tipped to win his fourth All Star award at this evening’s Opel-sponsored ceremony in Dublin, is also shortlisted for the footballer of the year award alongside team-mate Alan Brogan and Kerry’s Darran O’Sullivan.

He lines out for his club Parnells tomorrow in their county championship quarter-final against Ballymun Kickhams.

Despite being handed the captain’s armband by Ireland manager Anthony Tohill, doubts remain over whether he will be available for the International Rules series, which begins next Friday.

Should Parnells win, Cluxton may be faced with the prospect of choosing his club over country as the Dublin championship is already running behind schedule.

However, it is understood the 30-year-old will be on a flight to Melbourne on Sunday.

Cluxton’s club-mate and Laois captain Colm Begley, himself a former AFL player and a potential call-up for Tohill, has already confirmed he will opt for his club if he is made to choose between representing the two teams.

Picture: Tomás Ó Sé offers the match ball to Stephen Cluxton at the end of the All-Ireland final. Picture: Daire Brennan / Sportsfile

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