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Andrews: Attention is the last...
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Andrews: Attention is the last thing on Stephen Cluxton's mind

Paddy Andrews has dismissed the idea that any uncertainty surrounding Stephen Cluxton and his commitment to the Dublin senior panel reflects a selfishness on his part. 

Furthermore, the seven-time All-Ireland winner believes the remaining players will rally in the iconic 'keeper's absence and look to continue where they left off winning the last six All-Ireland titles.

"I could not disagree with that more," asserted Andrews on the latest episode of OTB's The Football Pod, the question put to him that Cluxton's indecision could be read as selfish and attention-seeking.

"From knowing Stephen and having the privilege of playing with him, that is not in his make-up."

An instrumental figure in Dublin's rise across the lost decade, Andrews believes that the Parnells clubman has done more than enough for Dublin and Gaelic football to dictate his own exit.

"He has been there for 20 years, 20 years playing senior inter-county football," remarked Andrews, "at the absolute forefront of what Dublin have achieved.

"You know you're onto something when they literally start changing rules to try and curb your influence on the game. That's the level he has got to.

"His dedication and sacrifice for the team is not in question."

Stephen Cluxton 19 December 2020; Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton | Sportsfile

Yet, the uncertainty regarding his inter-county future remains.

Although the Dublin manager Dessie Farrell did not definitively say that Stephen Cluxton will not return, nor why he had left in the first place, Andrews does not expect much clarity to be forthcoming.

"If you're waiting for Stephen to come out and talk to the media, you're going to be waiting a very long time," he said. "It isn't his style."

Citing his time with Dublin, Andrews pointed out how the departures of Rory O'Carroll, Jack McCaffrey and Diarmuid Connolly among others had the potential to upset the team's progress.

It is largely the manner in which the team carried on regardless in their absence that he believes Dublin will not dwell too long on Cluxton's absence should he not return.

"It is quite ruthless," he admitted. "You just move on. They won't be sitting there twiddling their thumbs waiting for Stephen to show up."

Nevertheless, there is a sense that Cluxton's departure may hit harder than most. Regarding the next man up Evan Comerford, Andrews believes he is an "outstanding" goalkeeper.

"As good as he is though," warned Andrews. "Stephen Cluxton has been the man."

LISTEN to Ep. 9 of The Football Pod with Paddy Andrews and Andy Moran right here

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Andy Moran Dessie Farrell Dublin GAA Gaelic Football Paddy Andrews Stephen Cluxton The Football Pod

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