Dublin manager Jim Gavin and Paul Clarke In Discussion At The Recent Dub Stars Game
Dublin manager Jim Gavin and Paul Clarke In Discussion At The Recent Dub Stars Game

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has strengthened his hand further by adding experienced coach and former 1995 All Ireland winning teammate Paul Clarke to his management team for the season ahead.

Clarkie as he is affectionately known is no stranger to the Dublin Senior set-up, he has been in charge of the Dublin senior team for the last two O’Byrne Cup campaigns leading the boys in blue to the title in 2017.

Clark was also a member of Pillar Caffrey’s Dublin management team from 2004 To 2008 and brings a wealth of knowledge both as a coach and a player.

Clarke had a long and distinguished playing career for Dublin. An underage soccer star Paul was introduced to Gaelic Football by Brother Coffey from St Aidan’s CBS. He soon signed for his local club Whitehall Colmcille and such was his impact at club level he was called up to the inter-county U14’s.

They went on to win a Leinster title in Croke Park and the rising star was sold on playing Gaelic football. A peripheral member of the 1983 Minor side that all changed 12 months later as Clarke was made Dublin Minor Captain and he led the side to Leinster and All Ireland glory beating Tipperary 1-09 to 0-04.

He was called up to the Senior panel by the late Kevin Heffernan in 85, he made his debut against Donegal in the National league and the rest as they say is history.

Paul was a mainstay of the team till his retirement in 1997 and mr versatile played in nearly every position on the team, corner-back, wing-back, midfield, centre-forward and corner-forward and excelled in them all. If called upon Clarkie would have probably done a super job as a goalkeeper such was the man’s talent.

The pinnacle year of his playing career was 1995 when Clarke was a member of Pat O’Neill’s side that captured Dublin’s first All Ireland title in twelve years. The Whitehall Colmcille man was a pivotal member of the team making significant scoring contribution throughout including a much remembered goal against Meath in the Leinster final.

Jason Sherlock’s point attempt dropped short but Clarkie was on hand to leap salmon like above the Meath defence and fist the ball to the back of the net.

Paul’s performances throughout the 95 season earned him his one and only All Star, he should have been awarded more but was wrongly overlooked on too many occasions.

By the time he retired Paul had won an All Ireland title, 6 Leinster titles, 3 National Football Leagues titles and an All Star.

After inter-county retirement Clark cut his teeth as a manger at club level, he was player/manager of his local club Whitehall Colmcille as well stints with Dublin sides St Margaret’s and St Sylvesters. In 2014 he guided Meath club Donaghmore-Ashbourne to a county senior final against

Navan O’Mahonys unluckily losing the final by 2 points.

Clarke will now bring all that experience to the Dublin Senior side in 2018 as they bid to regain the National Football League title and defend their Leinster and All Ireland titles. Dublin will benefit greatly for having him on board and all of us here at We Are Dublin GAA would like to wish our good friend Paul all the very best of luck in his new position.