Saturday 25 February 2017

McManamon out to nail down Dubs starting berth

Gaelic games

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

He was Dublin's goal-scoring hero in the All-Ireland football final and played a critical role off the bench in the latter stages of the championship, but when Kevin McManamon sits down to pen his personal goals for 2012 he admits he won't be short of copy.

McManamon wants to make himself a permanent fixture on the Dublin team and a player who sees out the full 70 minutes of every game he plays.

"That's the main aim after winning an All-Ireland title. I don't want to be labelled as someone who does better as an impact player for all of my career," he said. "I'd write down personal goals before the start of every year. Obviously there were a few boxes ticked in September. Scoring a goal in an All-Ireland final was beyond my wildest dreams. But in December, when I reassess, I know that lasting longer on the field will be a priority."

After making himself a consistent selection during the league, McManamon opened up in the league final against Cork with five points from play, but in Dublin's first championship game against Laois he played below par and didn't start a game after that.

"Whatever role I'm asked to play, I'll play. My preference would be for corner-forward, but I was out at centre-forward and really enjoyed that too," he said. "I didn't have a very good game against Laois and I paid the price for it. But I was glad to play a role at the end."

The St Jude's clubman is only two years with the Dublin squad, but has made significant progress and believes that by next year he will have the staying power to realise his chief goal. "I'm a player who can pile on a few pounds if I'm not consistently training, so even since the All-Ireland final I've been trying to do a bit in the gym," he said.

McManamon has revealed that Pat Gilroy told a meeting of the squad three weeks after the All-Ireland final that he would like to stay on as Dublin manager. "He made it clear to us that he would like to stay, but that other factors may come into it. I think everyone is of the opinion that we would really like him to stay."

Irish Independent

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