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End of an era as Dessie Farrell confirms Stephen Cluxton's Dublin days are over

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire Cup

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire Cup

Sean McGoldrick

Dublin’s seven-time All-Ireland winning captain Stephen Cluxton will not be involved in the Dublin squad this season, according to team manager Dessie Farrell.

Cluxton, who holds eight All-Ireland medals stepped away from the squad prior to the start of last year’s Championship and didn’t feature in the series. He celebrated his 40th birthday just before Christmas and the general expectations was that he wouldn’t be returning.

But having pointedly declined to comments on Cluxton’s plans last season Farrell confirmed on Saturday in Tullamore that he wouldn’t be involved in 2022.

“Stephen won’t be involved this year. He wasn’t involved last year. Stephen is not one for big announcements, as you know,” said Farrell.

“No fanfare, no official announcements from him in that regards but Stephen won’t be involved this year. And I think out of respect to him, we need to let him live his life and we need to do our own thing. We know the position, hopefully everybody else knows it at this stage now.”

Though Farrell’s statement is not a surprise, it has brought the curtain down on the career of arguably the most influential goalkeeper in the history of Gaelic football.

Speaking after Dublin beat Offaly in the first round of the O’Byrne Cup Farrell said Paul Mannion and Jack McCaffrey would not be involved either in 2022.

“I’ve a very good relationship with Paul going back to development squad years, we are in very regular communication. Paul has been clear as to why he has stepped away, his position hasn’t changed and we respect that,” said Farrell who added that he didn’t expect McCaffrey to return either.

The Dublin boss said the squad had spent the last few months reflecting on their All-Ireland semi-final exit to Mayo.

“It was definitely a time for reflection, and in the situation we found ourselves in that’s all you can do,” he added. ”You can just look back and review and try to take the learnings from last season, and look for those dimensions you can improve on and make things better for the season ahead.

“That would be quite typical in a situation like we found ourselves in. We’ve gone through that process now and looking forward to the season ahead.”

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