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David Clifford opens up on 'unreal' experience of being a father

By Vincent Whelan

David Clifford gave a wide-ranging interview where he touched upon the 'unreal' experience of becoming a father.

The star forward and partner Shauna O'Connor welcomed Ógie into the world the day after last year's All-Ireland semi-final loss to Tyrone.

And the 23-year-old laughed when asked whether the new arrival into his life had disrupted his sleeping schedule.

He told Off the Ball: "No, we've been lucky like. He sleeps well. He's been unreal! So we haven't experienced the sleepless nights thank God so it's been unreal. No look, it's been great fun in fairness."

The hypothetical dilemma was then put to him around what he would have done if Ógie had arrived just a few hours previously on that September day.

He replied: "Yeah he was born the following night/morning after the Tyrone game. We had that all spoken about. What would have happened? I suppose it didn't happen so I don't know.

"We had spoken about it but look I probably was playing the game regardless. But I would've been straight down after.

"But look, we have massive support from both of our families thank God so that helped."

The Fossa man is atypical from most players and indeed people his age as he shuns social media so it was a rare insight into his life away from the pitch.

Currently studying to be a PE teacher at University of Limerick, he also discussed his passion for other sports as he revealed he's a big Celtic fan and also a huge admirer of snooker world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.

As regards teaching, he mentioned that he enjoys helping children find any sport that they're passionate about rather than just strictly encouraging them to play one of football, hurling, soccer or rugby.

There was plenty of standard football chat too as he insisted Kerry aren't getting swept up in the prevailing sentiment that they are the clear favourties for this year's All-Ireland.

Since he already has plenty of personal accolades to his name with three All-Stars and a Young Footballer of the Year gong, he was asked whether he would only deem this season a success if he winds up with a Celtic Cross.

He added: "I'm not sure. Like it's not really, it sounds cliche but we do really just try and take it game by game.

"Obviously you're going to be disappointed if your season ends at some stage and you haven't got to the top but like, in terms of our overall outlook we probably are just taking it one game at a time and that's the way we're looking at it."

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