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Dublin manager Dessie Farrell confirms Stephen Cluxton set to return in 2020
Last Updated: 10/01/20 5:34pm
New Dublin manager Dessie Farrell has confirmed that goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton will return for a 20th season with the Sky Blues.
The Parnells club man was crowned 2019 Footballer of the Year after captaining the Dubs to a record five-in-a-row. Speculation followed as to his future with the county team, with the 38-year-old indicating in November that he was undecided as to whether he would return.
Speaking to the media on Friday morning for the first time since he was announced as Jim Gavin's successor, Farrell stated that Cluxton is now eager to come back.
"I've met with Stephen and he's indicated that he's very keen to stay involved," said the former minor and U21 supremo.
"A lot of you would be aware that he's just after going through some surgery on his shoulder there, so that's going to take some time to recover and he needs the time to rehab that.
"But he's very keen and intent and staying involved and staking a claim."
However, Cluxton is unlikely to feature in the National League.
"I think it was just that there was a little bit more to do on it than he thought, but we'd hope to see him back on the field towards the end of March, I think," added Farrell.
Following the retirements of Eoghan O'Gara and Bernard Brogan throughout the off-season, the incoming boss isn't expecting any more senior players to step away from the panel.
"They're all involved, absolutely," he said.
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"At the end of any season or the beginning of a new season, for senior players, it's always a concern at the best of times as to what role you're going to have going forward and particularly when there's a new management team in place.
"I know what that feels like, I came through seven different managers, so I can understand how some of those more senior players might feel about it, and maybe that sense of uncertainty, but I think, in my view anyway, they've all been fantastic servants of Dublin football and under our watch they're definitely going to get a chance to stake a claim and to impress the new management team."
Meanwhile, he is yet to confirm his new management team, citing the 11th-hour nature of his appointment as a reason for the delay.
"Obviously given the sudden nature of Jim's resignation over Christmas and the team and backroom team being away on holidays, there's still a few bits and pieces to put together," he explained.
"Ideally you'd like some more time, and the season is upon us quite quickly.
"And I don't mean to be awkward yet but with the lads being away and everything else, I'd prefer to fill them in first rather than sort of announce it in public, without letting them know.
"So there's a timing thing around this and obviously they're back over the next couple of days and will be back training next weekend, so I hope to be able to address the lads on that basis next week.
"Over the next few weeks we should have it finalised."