Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

18.16 4 Jul 2021


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Dessie Farrell has confirmed that goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton has stepped away from Dublin senior football panel, but says he has not retired. 

There had been much speculation in recent weeks that the 39-year-old had retired from the inter-county game.

Speaking to South East Radio following Dublin's win over Wexford in the Leinster Senior Football Championship quarter-final on Sunday Farrell said Cluxton has asked for time away from the panel but he has not retired.

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"The situation is very simple. Stephen isn't with us at the moment.

"He's gone back to his club and he's taking time to heal the body and maybe to regenerate the appetite.

"I don't know to be honest if Stephen will be back or not.

"He's not retired, he's just stepped away."

Cluxton has been arguably the most important player in Dublin's incredible success over the last decade.

The Parnells clubman has won eight All-Ireland medals since he made his debut for the senior panel 20 years ago.

Farrell said he believed a player of his stature deserves privacy when making a decision about his retirement.

"We've spoken about it as a group, given the services he's provided over the years, he deserves that respect and that time and space to make up his mind.

"We're not trying to play games here in any way.

"He's asked for time and I think he deserves the time.

"At the end of the day, the service he's given to the county has been immense.

"When a man asks to step away and take out I think a player like Stephen Cluxton deserves that and we all need to respect that."

Cluxton isn't the first Dublin player to step away from the panel with Diarmuid Connolly the most high-profile player to return after a break.

Farrell says if Cluxton wants to come back, he'll be more than welcome.

"We've always operated on the basis that we've an open door policy.

"That was the same for the last management team.

"That was the same for any team that I managed at minor or U21 level.

"If there's players out there and they're willing to contribute and they and we feel they've a contribution to make then the door is open for sure."


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