Two weeks ago, Neil McManus began his 15th season in the saffron colours of Antrim with a momentous victory over Clare, knocking over an early contender for ‘score of the year’ in the process. What seemed like a shock to the rest of the country, wasn’t a surprise to those in the Glens of Antrim. As Neil says himself, it’s time the county “realised it’s potential”. Now in to a 3rd different decade of representing his county, he looks as committed as ever to the cause. This week we were delighted to head to Cushendall to go ClubSpotting with Antrim legend, Neil McManus.
1. What are your first memories of your club Cushendall and what makes the club special to you?
My father bringing me to the local pitch with my little sister Maria & big brother John. When senior training was on we would play on the ‘top pitch’ and were mesmerised by the skill and ferocity of the senior training. It is the epicentre of our village.
2. Who were your sporting idols growing up?
They were all hurlers! Club mates like Conor McCambridge, Sambo & Jackie Carson along with the Clare & Offaly teams of the 90’s. John and I could be found outside the house imitating any of these players before, at halftime and after any match.
3. What has been the proudest moment of your playing career?
Representing Cushendall in the All Ireland Club final on St Patricks Day 2016.
4. Toughest opponent you have faced?
JJ Delaney. The best defender of all time.
5. Best player you have played with?
Impossible to pick one from playing with Cushendall, Antrim, Ulster & Ireland. I have been blessed to play alongside so many greats of the game and learn from them along the way. I’ve been playing senior since 2004 so I would have to compare different generations at this stage!
6. Any pre game rituals or superstitions?
Nothing really. All the preparation is complete long before match day.
7. What are your hopes and ambitions for 2021?
For myself, Cushendall and Antrim to realise our potential.
What is ClubSpot?
ClubSpot offers a wide range of features to ease the burden on volunteers in sports clubs and to help clubs increase their revenues. With a wide range of features, online payment and a customised Club App included.
For more information or to arrange a product demonstration for your club contact firstname.lastname@example.org.