When he lines out in next month's International Rules series against Australia, it will be Conor McManus's third time being involved with the Ireland squad.
This time, he will have an additional role: he has been named as vice-captain by manager Joe Kernan. Aidan O'Shea will captain Ireland for the first time.
Four years ago, his performances for Ireland in two games against the Aussies sparked the interested of Essendon. McManus is unsure if the AFL club knew he was a little bit older than the average Irish player attempting to make his way in Aussie Rules.
Essendon got on to me back in 2013 I think it was, after the first time I played International Rules.They were looking for me to come out for two or three weeks but I’m not sure they knew that I was 24 or 25 at that time! Nothing really came of it.
The possibility of playing professional sport is certainly something which would have interested the Monaghan man.
"You certainly would have gone down and given it a rattle, see if it could have gone anywhere or something could have came out of it.
It would be very hard to leave. I suppose you never really know until you’re in that position what you would do but you’d probably have to think seriously about it anyway."
Though, he believes he would have been at a disadvantage compared to the younger Irish lads who have taken up the game.
They take you in at that age and for them, you’re a blank canvas. They can really get to work you in terms of physically and the techniques and skills of the game.
But maybe at 24 or 25 it takes that bit more time. The guys that are going out there it takes 12 or 18 months before you even hear their name mentioned in terms of draft football. It is an advantage to go down as early as you can.
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