Cluxton’s No.1 contenders for his successor as kickout king

Is Shaun Patton best-placed to succeed Stephen Cluxton as the game’s most influential goalkeeper?

Cluxton’s No.1 contenders for his successor as kickout king

Is Shaun Patton best-placed to succeed Stephen Cluxton as the game’s most influential goalkeeper?

Rory Beggan (Monaghan)

The subject of a controversial All-Star call last winter, the Scotstown man is an incredible striker of the ball, perhaps one of the cleanest in the game, even counting outfield players.

An option for his defenders to play the ball to, he scored a point from play in last year’s Ulster club series against Burren, when he played a quick one-two with a teammate.

There have been question marks over his ability to deal with the high ball, but he has made a habit of scoring from the dead ball from up to 55 metres.

Donegal goalkeeper Shaun Patton. Picture: James Crombie
Donegal goalkeeper Shaun Patton. Picture: James Crombie

Shaun Patton (Donegal)

Slight of stature, the former Finn Harps man has an incredible boot of the football off the tee.

His ability to kick over the high press into wide areas for teammates to run onto is a serious attacking tool, bringing scores in the Ulster final against Cavan, highlighted in The Sunday Game analysis with a camera behind the goals.

With Michael Murphy long established as their long-range free-taker, he is unlikely to widen his portfolio in the short-term.

David Clarke (Mayo):

Reinstated to the Mayo line-up for Saturday night’s round two qualifier against Down, Clarke showed again that he is probably the best pure shot-stopper in the game.

When Donal O’Hare had a late chance to nab a goal, Clarke spread his huge frame to bat away.

At other times, when the dropping ball came into his area he claimed with authority.

If there is a question mark over his game it is his kickouts which are not at the level of his peers, occasionally prompting the recall of goalkeeping rival, Rob Hennelly.

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