Tuesday 21 November 2017

Dublin super-sub is bored and frustrated with people constantly talking about his playing time

Kevin McManamon, Dublin, in action against Darren O'Hagan, Down Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Kevin McManamon, Dublin, in action against Darren O'Hagan, Down Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Kevin McManamon has always used his time on the pitch wisely.

While he hasn't been a regular starter for Dublin during his inter-county career, he has still popped off the bench to play a key part in three All-Ireland championship wins, scoring vital goals in each campaign.

In 2011, his introduction helped Dublin finally overcome Donegal's blanket defence in the semi-final before he started his side's comeback with a goal in the decider against Kerry.

In 2013 he repeated the trick against the Kingdom in the semi-final stage, giving Dublin the lead in injury time with a spectacular strike, while last year he netted in both games against Mayo at the penultimate stage of the championship.

McManamon's knack for raising the green flag at crucial times has endeared him massively to Dublin fans, but the forward doesn't want to just be remembered as a cult hero who scored a few important goals.

"It is not something I would have huge on the list," McManamon told Independent.ie at the launch of the Leinster championship when asked how highly he values the goals against Kerry.

"Victories for the team is the only thing that I really care about. You would like to be remembered for something a bit more than hitting the back of the net once or twice."

Throughout his inter-county career, McManamon has tended to be used as an impact player off the bench rather than as a regular starter. The forward tends to be brought into the fray as defences tire and his impressive engine and searing pace tend to be even more effective when a game is in the balance late in the second half.

McManamon has no complaints about how he is used in the team, and insists that he is happy with his medal haul despite not making the first 15 on All-Ireland final day.

"I'm very happy with my inter-county career," McManamon said.

"I'm on a great team and I've had some great days. I've been given a role on the team, and it is not one some people picture as what they want. Look, it is part of it for me. I do it because I love it."

Many fans and pundits wonder what McManamon actually needs to do to nail down a starting berth given how prolific he has been during his cameos, but the man himself is merely fed up with people constantly talking about his 'supersub' status and whether it should translate to a first team place.

"I just deal with it," he says.

"It is frustrating that it is always talked about. I'll hopefully get into the parade for the final one of these days.

"I try my best to start every game. It is getting a bit boring to be honest with you, hearing about it."

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