Thursday 14 December 2017

Temp Head - Cluxton is King of Keepers

'Cluxton is King of Keepers' - Tyrone's Morgan

TYRONE'S new goalkeeper Niall Morgan has described Stephen Cluxton as "the King" of free-taking stoppers.

Morgan, a former netminder with Irish League club Dungannon Swifts, has incorporating long-range place-kicking into his meteoric rise but has doffed his cap to Dublin's captain ahead of Saturday' night's clash between the counties in Croke Park (7.0).

"Cluxton is the king really," Morgan insisted. "The rest of us goalkeepers who are taking free-kicks still have a long way to go before we can compare ourselves to him."

Last season, Harte rotated all three of his goalkeeping options in Division 2, with Pascal McConnell playing against Kildare, Westmeath and Monaghan; Jonathan Curran against Derry, Galway and Kildare and John Devine starting against Meath and Louth.

McConnell and Devine remain members of the panel but Morgan has outpassed both as Tyrone's preferred 'keeper, starting all four Division 1 matches thus far and firmly in line to do so again on Saturday against Dublin, in Croke Park - despite not playing in goals for his club Edendork.

He scored 0-3 from placed balls and saved a penalty against Donegal in round three of the league, earning the Man of the Match award and along with Cluxton, Kenneth O'Malley (Mayo) and Brendan Kiely (Kerry) is one of four topflight goalkeepers to have taken '45s' or long-range frees this year.

"(Cluxton) is definitely the daddy of the goalkeeping free-kick community," Morgan insisted. "I can only imagine what it would be like to play against him in Croke Park. I would need to do a lot more practice to be anywhere as good as him but it would be great to see how good he is."

Cluxton was rested by Jim Gavin last Sunday against Kildare, with Shane Supple deputising and it remains to be seen whether the former will slot back into the team, which is set to be named tonight after training.

Ger Brennan is available after sitting out his one-match suspension for the Kildare match with long-term injury absentees Alan Brogan, Eoghan O'Gara and Michael Fitzsimons, the only players not available through injury.

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