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Cutting supply lines key for Derry as Kerry talisman David Clifford gets off on right foot

David Clifford may have one of the best left boots in the history of Gaelic games but he has scored just as many off his right for Kerry this summer.

The back-to-back Footballer of the Year comes into this afternoon's All-Ireland quarter-final against Derry looking to repeat the masterclass he gave against the same opposition in last summer's semi-final. And to avoid the devastation which followed two weeks later.

Clifford's two-footedness is nothing new but the extent of it this year somehow makes marking him an even more daunting prospect. In Kerry's five games in the 2024 Championship, the 25 year-old has scored 2-11 from play or marks with 1-4 converted off either side. As well as three fisted points.

Lining out at the opposite end of Croke Park this afternoon will be another generational left foot in Shane McGuigan, just over eight years since they clashed at the same venue in the Hogan Cup final.

In that encounter - Clifford and his St Brendan's classmates were too good for McGuigan's St Patrick's College as the duo scored 3-08 between them out of a total of 4-19. Last year they both top scored for their teams in the All-Ireland semi-final, and 12 months on they carry the bulk of the scoring burden for Kerry and Derry once more.

Albeit, Clifford comes into this game after scoring 2-09 in his last two matches while McGuigan has managed just 0-04, two points of which from play. Derry have scored 2-67 in five games while Kerry have 4-97 in the same number.

McGuigan alone has accounted for just under 30% of Derry's total with their next top scorer being Lachlan Murray on 0-11. While Clifford has scored 25% of Kerry's total with Sean O'Shea slotting 0-24.

Of Clifford's nine points against Derry last year, five were from play