HE’S DUBLIN FOOTBALL’S quiet man, but the notoriously reticent Stephen Cluxton says he’s ready to lead the Blues by example this season.
The All-Ireland winning goalkeeper — who kicked the championship-winning point in 2011 — was appointed the side’s new captain, manager Jim Gavin confirmed in the wake of the win over Cork art Croke Park on Saturday night.
“I had a good think about it and Jim assured me of my role so I was happy enough to take it on board and hopefully I’ll do the job that he requested,” Cluxton says.
“I keep my head down and try train as hard as I can. If Jim thinks that’s leadership, then I’ll take it on my shoulders. But there are so many leaders in that dressing room, there’s no need to have one particular one.”
Cluxton was also skipper for Ireland’s successful International Rules trip in Australia last time out, though vice-captain Ciaran McKeever notably took care of the media duties.
“The International Rules, the lads that were there were all the best footballers in their county,” the Parnells man says, “so they are leaders themselves. I’m only learning as well and obviously Jim is going to guide me and help me along if he thinks I need to buck up on things.”
The move is one of Jim Gavin’s early decisions as he tries to chart a course to September for his new-look Dublin side. And he insists he has every confidence in Cluxton.
“An outstanding football player, an outstanding athlete and an exemplary individual,” he said on Saturday night at GAA HQ. “He sets the highest standards for himself and those around him. That’s what I’m looking for in a captain and he ticks all those boxes.”