Dublin's Kevin McManamon expecting - and hoping for - more games with Kerry
KEVIN McManamon believes Kerry will be spending a lot of time in Croke Park over the next few years – and he still hopes that he is too.
Dismissing the notion that he would ride off into the sunset with his seven All-Ireland medals, the St Jude's forward said that he didn't know anyone else's plans but that he planned to be back in 2020.
He'd had a peripheral 2019 pretty much right up until the drawn final, but it was turnover on David Moran that led to their injury-time equaliser, and on Saturday he had a hand in the Dean Rock score that finally killed off the Kingdom.
Turning 33 in December, McManamon said he loves it too much to give it up.
"Hopefully, I just love it. I love playing, I love going training, I love living the lifestyle of a Dublin footballer and I'm gonna keep rolling until the body gives in. I was in as good a shape this year as I've ever been in, so we'll see what happens.
"[The lack of game time] is the tricky part of it. It's probably harder for some of the guys that maybe don't get to play at all, I wouldn't be complaining to be straight with you.
"I was able to sneak in in the two finals, which I was delighted with, and put a little bit of a mark on each game, so it's all good."
The Dublin goal from the throw-in at the start of the second half was the game's turning point, with the champions' forwards all pulling out to leave space for Eoin Murchan in what appeared to be a pre-rehearsed move.
"To be honest, I thought we were doing something else," laughed McManamon at the suggestion it was a set piece.
"It was something else, it was Kevin Moran-esque from the throw-in, except Murch was able to bang it in the back of the net.
"It was an amazing goal. He'll never be able to forget that one, people will be reminding him of it for years."
The 1-18 to 0-15 victory over Kerry brought Dublin to an unprecedented five-in-a-row and McManamon, whose impact has been central to the Dubs' success over the last eight years, admitted it was hard to block out all the noise surrounding their historic bid.
"Ah yeah, there was a bit of pressure on this year. There is every year, but it had a different twist on it this year. It's a great relief. The extra two weeks, it's all building up so it's a great feeling.
"You just keep hearing people trying to make you think one way, and you're trying to force yourself back to think the other way, about the next game or whatever. The four before you are done, so that's it."
While Dublin's age profile has left question marks hanging over a number of their squad, all of whom either started Saturday from the bench or didn't make the 26, Kerry had 11 players who played in their first and second All-Ireland finals over the last fortnight.
"They're an excellent side, they probably could have beaten us very easily the first day, the same here, it could have gone either way," said McManamon.
"They'll be spending a lot of time in Croke Park over the next few years, it's the new coming of a young Kerry side.
"They beat us once this year, drew with us once and we beat them today, so it's tight enough. I'm sure there'll be more battles to look forward to in the next few years".