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Coulter: Clarke has been key

Martin Clarke's decision to turn his back on an AFL career in Australia has been the key to Down's march to the All-Ireland SFC final, according to fellow attacker Benny Coulter.

"He was a massive, massive loss and people don't realise that Marty was probably our best underage talent to come through in maybe 20 or 30 years - probably the best underage talent that Down have ever had," Coulter said of the 2005 All-Ireland minor winner.

"We lost a player in a position that we hadn't filled - centre-forward - since Greg Blaney. Marty coming back has really made things tick into place. You can move Dan (Gordon) into defence with Marty there. It has worked well for us," said Coulter.

"I don't know how long he is going to hang about, but it is a credit to the lad. If he does win an All-Ireland medal, he'll have deserved it thoroughly for leaving what he had in Australia."

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