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'I've been hearing it for years now. All we can do is just get on with it'

Kevin McManamon steers clear of the talk around Dublin GAA’s off-field advantages.

McManamon was at AIG's launch of AIG Cups & Shields in GUI National Headquarters.
McManamon was at AIG's launch of AIG Cups & Shields in GUI National Headquarters.
Image: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

IN THE AFTERMATH of Dublin’s Leinster final hammering of Meath, the focus quickly turned to the advantages they enjoy off the field. 

Their excessive funding, population, sponsorship deals and use of Croke Park as a home venue all cropped up in the arguments over the past few days.

Despite the fact that the finals in Ulster, Connacht and Munster were extremely competitive, Dublin’s 1-17 to 0-4 victory was seen by many as the latest reason to scrap the provincial championships.

Even above competition structures, the money that has been pumped into Dublin GAA – particularly when compared to the rest of the country – remains the major gripe.

Jim Gavin said it was “bit of an insult” to the players to that funding made them into the force they have become.

But what do the players themselves make of the criticism surrounding finances?

“I don’t really pay much attention to it,” said Kevin McManamon.

“It is what it is. I’ve been hearing it for years now. All we can do is just get on with it and just keep playing, keep winning.

“If people want to change the structure or the competition structure or whatever it is, my career probably won’t last as long to see it. We just get on with it.  

“People are just trying to put a different narrative on it so it’s hard to know. That wouldn’t affect me, no.”

Kevin McManamon McManamon during the Leinster quarter-final clash against Louth. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

McManamon, who made his championship debut against Wexford in 2010, featured as a 59th-minute substitute on Sunday, winning his ninth provincial medal with the Sky Blues. 

They held Meath to a single point in the first-half, conceding just four points in total over the 70 minutes.

“It’s gas, we put a big focus on defence in the lead into it and obviously they didn’t score that much,” says McManamon. “It could have been a different game, obviously we went in at half-time and it was 5-1.

“On another day it could have been 6-4, 5-5 or 10-5, if teams took their chances. They gave us a different thing than we were expecting. They were smart. We had eight turnovers in the first 10 minutes, we just couldn’t get our rhythm.

“Eventually we started chipping away but I suppose they’d be disappointed with not hitting the target and stuff like that. It could have been a different game but we ended up getting going and got the job done in the end but it was a sticky enough tough day to play and really slippy conditions.

“The game was kind of done by the time I was in. But again we had a strong last two quarters anyway. We would have been happy enough from that point of view.”

Kevin McManamon McManamon arrives off the team bus. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The 32-year-old lined out in a league game for St Jude’s last night, keen to keep his match fitness with sterner tests lying ahead this summer.

“I want to get a bit of game-time myself,” he said.

“It’s usually if you don’t play, if you don’t play a half or whatever their cut-off is depending on how hard you’ve trained. I’d be pushing as much as I can.

“I played 10 or 15 minutes the other day, so you need game-time if you’re planning on starting a Super 8s game or an All-Ireland semi-final. I would push for it.

“I’d say anyone that played at the weekend probably won’t but I think you can pamper people too much – we don’t really do that. Get them out and play, that’s how you sharpen up.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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