Kerry manager Peter Keane has given no timeline as to when Paudie Clifford will make his senior debut, remarking that the older brother of David is still getting up to inter-county pace.
Paudie Clifford was drafted into Keane’s squad off the back of his displays for East Kerry during their run to county championship glory last year. Included in this was a man of the match performance from the 2018 All-Ireland junior winner on the afternoon of East Kerry’s county final win over Dr Crokes.
But four rounds into the Allianz League and the elder of the Clifford brothers has yet to be part of a match-day 26.
Clifford was carrying an injury when he joined the Kerry set-up ahead of the new season and while he is now back training, the manager says the newcomer is continuing to adjust to life at senior inter-county level.
“[Paudie] came in injured. It is one thing to be injured, but just because your injury is sorted, it could take you five or six or seven weeks of training to get up to the pace of where you are at. And he hasn't been here before, so it might take him that little bit longer. He's training, he was training [Sunday] morning. It is just a question of, is he ready for it,” Keane remarked.
At Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday, Kerry, continuing the trend of recent games, managed to work the ball into the opposition net on just one occasion. Across the 20 League and Championship games Keane has presided over since his appointment, in just three did Kerry take their opponents for two goals, and never once have they managed three in a single game.
Moreover, there were seven games where Kerry failed to raise a green flag.
Keane has implied that Kerry’s goal efforts are being thwarted by persistent fouling.
“We kicked 1-19 against Meath, we kicked 1-19 against Dublin [in round 1], and 1-15 against Galway [in round 2]. We are getting scores and we are creating a lot of scores.
“We were 1-10 at half-time [against Meath]. A bucket of those scores came from frees. If you are playing a team that has forwards, what is the opposition going to do? They are going to shut you down so you don't create goal-scoring chances. We appear to get a lot of scores from frees so obviously we are being fouled.”