If you could pick one word to sum up Paddy Clifford, you would probably pick ‘persistence’.
Progress for the All-Star and All-Ireland’s Pantheon senior medalist was not an overnight journey. In fact, Fossa Playwright is an example for anyone on how to constantly dig deep when you’re constantly overlooked.
Clifford never represented Carey at the minor or under-21 level. His apprenticeship in the green and gold jersey was given to the juniors in 2018. Even the last honor in that grade did not lead to promotion to the senior fold. Once again, he had to spend his time.
East Kerry’s back-to-back County Championship victories were the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. While everyone expected the heroism produced by younger brother David, it was Pauri who got everyone up and took notice. Once the call came, the boy answered that call!
Kingdom No. 13 had battle scars as he walked out of the dressing room at Croke Park on Sunday, bleeding profusely from a second-half collision. It didn’t bother him in the slightest though. Sam Maguire was coming home, and his persistence was rewarded.
“Yeah, that’s probably a good way to describe it. There was a lot of hard work, not being picked for many years, and a lot of failures along the way, but feeling good now. David was a big help, in fairness , and I always enjoyed playing with my club, and that’s what kept me going,” he said.
“When I was playing with Fossa, I loved it, and we had great craziness after the game and training, so there was nothing to say that you won’t play any more football or anything. I just All I had to do was play well, keep doing my job, and just hope I can get called.
“they [the East Kerry wins] The keys were because they put me on the map, and because you were marking some of the backs that we were playing today, I was marking some of them at county championship games, and doing relatively well on them. So then you’re clearly having more confidence in yourself, and obviously management can see that as well. Those were the main reasons. ,
In the semi-final against Dublin, the first half against Galway didn’t really go Paudie Clifford’s way. Tightly marked by Jack Glynn, he was for the most part a peripheral figure.
Once again, however, when the lead was needed down the home stretch in the second half, it was the older Fossa brothers who supplied it. Two significant second half points were scored, which were similar to dubs.
“Whoever I’m marking, I just think about wearing them down. In the first half, I don’t know, it was tough, they got the bodies back and they got them back fast, and there just wasn’t much space,” he said.
“I just had to keep at it, and often the game opens up a bit more in the second half, when the body is a little tired. When teams are bringing on subs, the subs can’t be as tuned into the game-plan. Perhaps as a start, sometimes they are, other times they are not.”
In praise of what Jack O’Connor and his management team have brought this season, Clifford was also quick to acknowledge the building block work done by Peter Keane over the past three years — and of course Brilliant strength, deep within the Champions Panel.
“He’s given us a lot of confidence throughout the year, and in fairness to Peter first, we were very close last year. He did a great job for us, he was also very close in 2019, so he put a lot of effort into building this team.” Jack did it then and this management added their different things, proving that it all helps us get out of line at the end.
“We have a really incredible panel. There are 35 or 36 people, and the people who didn’t make it to the panel are incredible football players, so we always had a lot of confidence on our bench. They’re really improving the team.” , not making it worse. It probably comes back to the fact that we have been doing well in the last 15 or 20 minutes, because our bench has led us.
With an eight-year famine coming to an end, when it comes to beating Dublin in championship football and raising Sam Maguire, there is now a hope that this is just the beginning, rather than the end, of this squad. For. Hoping for more success in the coming season.
“Hopefully, we have to get out of line this year. We’ll be hoping for a few more wins now, but we’ll have to wait and see. We know Dublin is going to be very strong again, and Galway is very young , and Tyrone will be back, and teams like that.
“It remains to be seen, but we expect it. As for the parents, they are largely football guys, so they are happy. They will be going to Kerry games anyway, but I think it Makes it a little extra special for them. It’s great for them.”
Dermot and Ellen Clifford deserve to be proud parents. Younger son David may have led the way, but older brother Paudy refused to be on the periphery. Now he really has arrived.