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Legend Cluxton will just keep on setting bar higher: Beggan



Progress: Rory Beggan aims to continue improving

Progress: Rory Beggan aims to continue improving

Progress: Rory Beggan aims to continue improving

Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan believes that Stephen Cluxton's decision to remain in the Dublin squad for another year at least will provide further inspiration for all goalkeepers.

It was thought that 38-year-old Cluxton, who has led Dublin to their five successive All-Ireland titles, might step down following the resignation of manager Jim Gavin, but now the Parnells clubman is focused on the Dubs making it the round half-dozen in terms of All-Ireland crowns.

Beggan is convinced that his extended presence between the posts could see him set the bar even higher for netminders at all levels.

"There is no doubt that Stephen is the one who has taken goalkeeping in gaelic football to a new level altogether and, in the process, he has been forcing the rest of us to challenge ourselves," insists Beggan, who is regarded as one of the top three goalkeepers in the country.

"When you look at his reflexes, his kick-out strategy and the way in which he commands his goal area, you know you are looking at someone who has brought a whole new dimension to the position.

"He has the total respect of the whole Dublin squad because of his calm authority and magnificent track record. I have no doubt that new Dublin manager Dessie Farrell will see Stephen as a key figure in the team's bid for more All-Ireland glory."

Asked if he himself might keep going until he reached the age of 38, Beggan replied: "Well, I would have 11 years to go until I reach that stage.

"Obviously none of us can see into the future, but if you could keep in good shape and retain your health you never know where things might take you.

"But I would have to say that, although goalkeepers are often credited with longevity, Stephen Cluxton is in a class of his own and will remain there.

"I am always trying to improve my own game in the way that the rest of the county goalkeepers in the country are doing."

Belfast Telegraph