David Moran says it's unlikely that David Clifford will explode onto the senior intercounty scene in his first season out of minor.
Underage sensation Clifford - who bagged 10-68 in twelve MFC outings in 2016 and 2017 - is currently training with the Kerry seniors and hopes are high that he'll transform Eamonn Fitzmaurice's team into genuine Sam Maguire Cup contenders. But Kingdom veteran Moran cautions against unreasonably high expectations:
"I haven't seen too much of him training, because I've been in the gym, but he's in there anyway, he's got the head down, and is working hard. He is very talented, but I think people need to be patient," the influential midfielder is quoted in The Irish Times.
"People thinking he's going to come in, burn it up, just a year out of minor, is probably a bit unrealistic. If you look at the last 20, 30 years, you had Gooch, perhaps, maybe Ronan Clarke [Armagh], but it's very, very rare.
"You get to senior level, age doesn't really matter. He's 19, and some of the best guys I played with, say Tommy Walsh, at 20 and 21 was phenomenal, but at 19 he didn't get a game. Declan O'Sullivan didn't make the panel in his first year, and after that was phenomenal.
"And the other thing is the full forward line for Kerry last year was the one line that could put their hand up and say 'we did okay'. It wasn't as if we have to have someone in the full forward line now.
"And I suppose the thing about him last year was that he was very big for his age, he was a very big minor, as well as having all the attributes. This year he won't have that advantage. But look, it's very exciting, I'm delighted he's from Kerry."