Given his hectic winter schedule with East Kerry and Fossa, it was understandable that David Clifford would be given a break by Jack O’Connor.
The reigning Footballer of the Year made his inter-county debut for 2023 on Saturday night, after he was introduced from the bench away to Mayo in the Allianz Football League.
Although the game was over as a contest by the time Clifford was called upon as a half-time substitute, he nonetheless looked as sharp as ever, and kicked three superb points from play.
Having terrorised the Mayo defence throughout 2022, he showed just how dangerous he can be once again within minutes of his introduction. Under intense pressure from the Mayo defence, he managed to weave his way through and find space to unleash a left-footed shot over the bar.
Later in the half, he received a hand-pass from his older brother Paudie. Evading three Mayo defenders who were tracking him, Clifford turned up his speed before blasting over with his right boot.
Despite losing the match, 2-14 to 1-10, Kerry will not be judging their season on a February defeat in the Allianz League.
With several protagonists back up and running for the year, the Kingdom will be looking to gather pace as the springtime progresses.
Next up is the visit of Armagh to Austin Stack Park in Tralee next weekend, as they seek a second win of the campaign.
📮 Sign up to the OurGame newsletter — a daily email reminder of our latest videos, articles, quizzes and more.