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Saturday 21 October 2017

'I'd go to Oz in a heartbeat' - Kerry's Savage

Kerry players Ronan Shannahan, Paul Geaney, Jack Savage
and Jack Barry at Lucozade Sport’s ‘Made to Move’ event
in Jumpzone, Sandyford yesterday
Kerry players Ronan Shannahan, Paul Geaney, Jack Savage and Jack Barry at Lucozade Sport’s ‘Made to Move’ event in Jumpzone, Sandyford yesterday

Naturally enough, Jack Savage wants David Clifford to fulfill his obvious sporting potential on these shores and with a round ball but the Kerry player admits he would "go off tomorrow in a heartbeat," himself if he was offered a full time contract with an AFL club.

The extent of interest in Clifford from Australia was a source of debate prior to his All-Ireland MFC final master-class after which the AFL official Twitter account shared a story from their website about how the Fossa clubman was the top prospect in the GAA, insisting interest in him among its clubs would be strong.

"I'm hoping he stays around, definitely. You want all the best players to be available," said Savage.

"Back in '09 we lost Tommy Walsh from my own club and he was a big loss to Kerry at the time.

"We lost Mark O'Connor there two years ago but you can't say no to a fella that wants to go off and try the professional lifestyle. But hopefully, he has the Maurice Fitzgerald knack about him and he has the skill about him so hopefully we can hang onto him."

Walsh, from the same Kerins O'Rahilly's club as Savage, has not been part of the Kerry squad since April 2016 after struggling to readjust to inter-county football after returning from a five-year stint in the AFL with St Kilda and Sydney Swans.

He has, however, demonstrated a return to form with his club recently and Savage has hinted he may been in line for a recall with Kerry in 2018.

"It took him a year or two to adapt back into it but he's flying now again for us with the club," he explained.

"We are in the county semi-final next weekend against South Kerry.

"He's been motoring well for us all year and he's been carrying the team all year.

"He's nearly back to his best. It's up to the management but I'm sure they'll be watching."

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