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Neil McManus may take a break from Saffron duty in 2016

By Declan Bogue

Published 11/12/2015

Antrim's Neil McManus
Antrim's Neil McManus

Antrim's 2015 hurling captain Neil McManus has admitted that his participation for the Saffrons in 2016 is in serious doubt.

McManus, who won a replacement All-Star and headed off to Austin, Texas for the 2015 All-Star trip, said he may go travelling next summer when Antrim will compete in Division 2A and in the Christy Ring Cup.

"I am still undecided, but I am probably still leaning towards the travelling idea," he said.

"By the time we get finished up with the club, we will already have missed the league, because hopefully we will be playing on St Patrick's Day.

"The league would be soon finished after that date.

"The Christy Ring competition comes straight after that. But it all depends on my fiancée's work situation.

"If she is finished up with teaching then we quite possibly will head away soon after the club championship," McManus explained.

McManus maintained his decision to travel has nothing to do with the strain of a decade playing county hurling, since he was a minor under Sambo McNaughton and Woody McKinley.

He said: "I will be honest, I feel as fresh now as I did 10 years ago.

"You learn how to look after your body a bit better and I am probably in better shape now than when I started 10 years ago."

As for getting a replacement All-Star, he was deeply touched, explaining: "I was absolutely delighted.

"It is a massive honour for me, my family and our club as well.

"I think it is only the third time that anyone in our club has got away on the All-Star tour.

"It gives another wee boost in a year that has kept on giving," he added.

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