HomeFootballClifford ‘the best I’ve ever seen’ says Liston

Clifford ‘the best I’ve ever seen’ says Liston

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KERRY legend Eoin ‘Bomber’ Liston believes that current Kingdom sharpshooter David Clifford is the best forward he has ever seen. Clifford has been hailed as one of the all-time greats already, and while a few come close, no one has ever been as good, says Liston.

The former full forward holds legendary status himself, having racked up seven All-Ireland medals during his playing days when he was a key figure in Mick O’Dwyer’s team during the Kerry Golden Years.

Liston lined out in the famed green and gold from 1978 to 1993 and retired with four All-Stars to his name. He played with some of the best forwards ever produced in the mould of Mikey Sheehy, Pat Spillane and John Egan, but ‘Bomber’ reckons Clifford is the best.

The Fossa clubman has been named Footballer of the Year in the previous two seasons and has won All-Stars in five of the last six years since breaking onto the scene in 2018.

“There are different levels,” said Liston, looking ahead to the All-Ireland semi-final this weekend between Kerry and Armagh. “He is the best forward I’ve ever seen. There’s been fellas very close to him, but I’d be putting him as the best.

“I’d put Peter Canavan up there, he’s someone that comes to mind, the Gooch (Colm Cooper) as well. I’d have those three as the best. I’m biased, I’m a Kerry man, but to me, Clifford is the best forward I’ve seen.”

Clifford will be the main difference between Kerry getting their hands back on Sam Maguire or another county ending a long wait for an All-Ireland title, says Liston. If Kerry didn’t have Clifford to call on, he’d find it hard to split the four teams left in the All-Ireland series.

“Between the four teams that are left, in my opinion, it’s a toss of a coin between them. If I had a free bet, I’d bet on Kerry, mainly because they have David Clifford. But if David Clifford was out, is there much between the four teams? I’d say nothing, that’s my opinion.”

Liston has shared a changing room with Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney during the 2011 International Rules series when the pair worked together as part of Anthony Tohil’s management team.

While Liston wants to see his native county get over the line this weekend and reach the decider, he wouldn’t begrudge McGeeney and the Orchard County a wee bit of luck after the heartache of the last few years.

“I know Kieran McGeeney personally, I’ve seen him operate in the dressing room,” added Liston. “I’ve seen how committed he is, I’ve seen his enthusiasm, if you can’t perform for that fella, you’re never going to perform.

“My heart goes out for him, to be so close and to not get over the line. Padraig Harrington in golf experienced it, Justin Rose, and so many more, eventually these fellas get over the hill. I’m hoping it won’t be this Saturday, but Armagh are very close.”

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