David Clifford happy to play behind closed doors as 'last resort'

“That’s probably what I miss the most, just preparing and looking forward to a game all week.”
David Clifford happy to play behind closed doors as 'last resort'

Kerry football captain David Clifford will happily partake in a behind-closed-doors Championship.

The 21-year-old is hopeful of there being an All-Ireland Championship later this year and took heart from the exit strategy published by Government on Friday evening last, which earmarked July 20 as the date when GAA activity, subject to social distancing, can resume.

“I am [hopeful]. I think the news that came out on Friday from Leo Varadkar was definitely positive and gave us a focal point and something to look forward to,” said the two-time All-Star.

“It was probably looking very unlikely for the last few weeks. But even just having the chance to play anything behind closed doors or not would be massive. I’m hopeful enough that there’ll be a championship in some form.”

During the interview with Killarney-based insurance broker GMHD.ie, Clifford said Colm Cooper is the former Kerry player he would most like to bring back and play alongside, but while the Gooch is loathe to see matches go behind closed doors, Clifford has no problem playing in front of an empty Fitzgerald Stadium or Croke Park.

“It would be strange [playing behind closed doors]. I suppose it’s obviously what drives you on and you feed off the crowd, and get a massive lift off the crowd at times.

“But I suppose, look, it’s something I’ve been thinking about and a lot of fellas are of the belief that if you had a choice of playing behind closed doors or not playing at all, I think everyone would choose to play behind closed doors. Obviously, that’s not the ideal scenario but if that was the last resort, I think fellas would have no problem with it.”

The 2018 young footballer of the year admitted that he found April “very tough”. What should have been a busy couple of weeks on the club front was replaced by back-garden football challenges with brother and fellow Kerry senior Paudie.

“Probably the thing I miss the most is getting down to training, having that bit of structure, having that bit of craic, getting out there training, preparing for a game, and getting ready for a game. There’s nothing better than coming into a Thursday or Friday of a week when you have a big game at the weekend. It really makes the week pass a bit better and like I said, it’s great to have something to look forward to.

“That’s probably what I miss the most, just preparing and looking forward to a game all week.”

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