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All-Ireland-winning boss welcomes Cluxton return and the motivational impact it could have on Dublin

Former Armagh manager Kernan reckons Dubs’ legend can play key role as Dessie Farrell bids to get back on top

Joe Kernan knows a thing or two about management having led Armagh to their one and only All-Ireland SFC crown in 2002.

Managers must make plenty of decisions along the way, some popular and some not so popular, and Kernan reckons Dessie Farrell has made the right move be enlisting the services of legendary goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton (41) once again.

“He had such an impact on that 20 years that he was there, he was the man that stood up all of the time,” Kernan said.

“His performances were nine out of 10 and he even went up and won All-Irelands for them with his free-taking ability.

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“You can’t underestimate the impact that he has when he’s there. Somebody at 41 coming back in, my God, but that’s how important he was to them in the good years.

“They must feel that he still has something to offer. It’s very hard to criticise and the one person you can’t criticise is Stephen Cluxton for what he has given to Dublin.

“It’s unquestionable and you can’t criticise him. He’s back in and he feels like he has something to offer.

“Dessie feels like he has something to offer to the squad so you’ve got take it the way you see it, he’s there to help not to cause problems.”

Kernan feels that the eight-time All-Ireland SFC winner will be as useful to the squad for his work off the pitch as his displays between the white lines if needed.

“He probably knows that he’s not going to jump straight back in but if needed, my God what a safe pair of hands and a safe left foot to have coming back in,” Kernan said.

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“It’s what he does off the field that you don’t see and the respect that he has, the way he holds things together as a player and motivates other players. That’d be one of the main reasons that he’s back in.”

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