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stepping away Dessie Farrell admits he doesn't know if Stephen Cluxton will be back for Dublin

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Dublin's Stephen Cluxton

Dublin's Stephen Cluxton

Dublin's Stephen Cluxton

Dessie Farrell has stated that Stephen Cluxton has not retired but has asked to be given time to consider his future as Dublin’s captain and goalkeeper.

In the aftermath of their eight-point win over Wexford in a Leinster quarter-final, Farrell, back on the sideline after a three months suspension, said he didn’t know if Cluxton would be back for a 21st season.

He confirmed that there had been contact, Cluxton had done some sessions with the goalkeeping coach Josh Moran but was now back with his club, Parnells.

“I don’t know is the honest answer,” said Farrell of the seven-time All-Ireland winning captain’s future. “It is not that we are trying to play games here in any way,” said Farrell.

“He’s asked for time and I think he deserves the time. At the end of the day, the service he has given to the county has been immense. When a man asks to step away and take time out, I think a player like Stephen Cluxton deserves that and we all need to respect that.”

Farrell said no deadline will be imposed for a return as the season gets up and running.

“We’ve always operated on the basis that we have an open-door policy. That was the same for the last management team and it is the same for any team I manage. If there are players out there and they are willing to contribute, and they and we feel they have a contribution to make, then the door is open for sure.”

Farrell took time to issue a personal apology for some of the squad breaching a Covid training ban at the end of March for which he served a three-month ban.

“It was difficult,” he said of the suspension. “Difficult and challenging is all relative to the context of what the country is going through the last 18 months. I 100 per cent regret it happened and I think ultimately as manager of the team, that decision rests with me and I take full responsibility for that.

And I take this opportunity again to apologise for it. It is not the standard I set myself on a personal level. I fell short on that front. All you can do is take the learnings and move forward and that’s what we did.”

Dublin’s performance was “flat” he acknowledged, while giving credit to Wexford for putting up such a spirited performance.

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