ST BRIGID’S Paddy Andrews admits he is grateful to the faith put in him by Dublin senior football manager Jim Gavin after he returned to the line-up for the county’s epic 3-18 to 3-11 win over Kerry in Croke Park last Sunday.
He returned to the side and improved as the tie went on, playing a free role later in the game after he returned to the side for the first time since Dublin met Westmeath in mid-July.
He has been suffering from a hamstring injury since then but he was fit enough to come back into the free-flowing side and have a key role at the edge of the square.
“It’s been brilliant that Jim gave me the responsibility to do it. I tried to perform as well as I could. It went well enough. My fitness is grand now and thank God we have three weeks to prepare for the next day.
“I didn’t know if I’d be fit enough to play again this season but the physios have just been brilliant.
“The Cork match was probably a bit early but I’ve had four good weeks to try and perform in training.”
He had one of the nearest views of Kevin McManamon’s vital goal that helped turn a one-point deficit into a seven-point win in the closing phases.
The St Jude’s man provided an audacious lobbed finish into the goal but Andrews initially was calling for his team mate to take a point instead.
“Oh my God, I was screaming at it him from behind, ‘please just kick it over’,” Andrews said.
“Then he took another solo and I was shouting, ‘just kick it over now’ – and he took another solo.
“And then, finally, whatever way he scuffed the shot, I saw it end up in the back of the net.
“I was the same as everyone in the stadium. It was just relief. It gave us a great cushion at the end.”
Following his heroics in the All-Ireland final a couple of years ago, Andrews joked that McManamon would not be “welcome down there in Kerry now”.
“Kevin is renowned for getting goals. It’s almost harsh on him that he’s nailed this ‘supersub’ thing.
“Every time he comes on he seems to deliver. It was no different this time.
“He was carrying a bit of an injury and to get back with the work rate, the effort he’s put in – no man deserves it more to get a great goal at the end.”