Saturday 24 February 2018

Nolan aims to make amends for poor '08 performance

Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

DUBLIN defender Kevin Nolan has revealed his mixed feelings on the Leinster football championship medal he won in 2008.

On the plus side, the Kilmacud Crokes player does actually have a winner's medal in his possession. Against that, there's winning and performing, and in Nolan's view, his first Leinster final appearance back in '08 left much to be desired.

The 22-year-old, who has nailed down a regular starting spot with the Dubs this year, feels he has a point to prove to himself against Wexford on Sunday.

"I made my championship debut against Wexford in the Leinster final three years ago, but it didn't go the best for me that day," he said.

"I'd been doing well in training and got a look-in, and my job was to man-mark Red Barry. It didn't go very well. I was booked early on, and I was substituted after about 20 minutes, so I have a lot to put right this time. It was a bit of a baptism of fire, but I've learned a lot since then.

"Being involved with Crokes in our All-Ireland win just a few months later and being involved with DCU, and with Dublin under Pat (Gilroy), it's all experience. You learn from it," said Nolan.

The mobile left half-back is part of a strong Dublin defensive unit which will bid to put the shackles on the free-scoring Wexford forward line.

It's a challenge he will relish, even though Wexford's Adrian Morrissey is a Kilmacud Crokes clubmate and he played with Shane Roche for DCU.

"Maybe they have more scoring forwards than the teams we've played up to now, but we can't just focus on their main lads," said Nolan.

"In the Leinster semi-final, maybe Carlow looked at Red Barry and Ciaran Lyng and focused too much on them, but they didn't have the players to cope with the full extent of the Wexford attack.

"Shane Roche would be a good friend of mine from DCU. He did well against Carlow.

"I was delighted for him in a way, but we'll have to make sure he doesn't get a big score the next day."

Irish Independent

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