The powerful midfielder, in AIB Leinster club final action with Ballyboden St Enda’s next weekend, picked up his third All-Ireland winners’ medal with Dublin in September though failed to start three of their last four games, including the final defeat of Kerry.
His axing for the All-Ireland quarter-final win over Fermanagh was the first time he’d been overlooked due to form since making his championship debut in 2010.
Macauley, 29, did also fail to start the first round of this year’s championship against Longford, though it was felt he was simply being eased back into action after missing the league campaign through injury.
Macauley, the 2013 Player of the Year, wasn’t helped by the emergence of Bryan Fenton, Dublin’s 22-year-old rookie midfielder who went on to collect an All Star. He is adamant though that he still has plenty left to contribute to the first team.
“It’s frustrating, I’m not in line to be a super-sub just yet,” said Macauley, before outlining how his All-Ireland success felt “compromised” because of his limited role.
“It probably was (compromised), to be honest. I featured strongly in Dublin’s previous two All-Irelands in 2011 and 2013. As every player does, they want to play every minute of every game, and I’m absolutely no different.
“The championship that I foresaw for myself, it wasn’t how it panned out. But to that extent, I have absolutely no regrets because I did put in a monstrous amount of effort to get myself right and I did have my body right.
“I was really looking forward to the back end of the championship but, look, things just didn’t go my way.
“In saying that, an All-Ireland is an All-Ireland, and I know how hard they are to come by. I still enjoyed it as much as the other ones but it was different and I definitely would hope that my inter-county career hasn’t peaked yet, or anywhere near it.”
Macauley has been an ever present at club level in recent weeks and months, however, as Ballyboden St Enda’s have captured a first Dublin senior football championship title since 2009, and qualified for Sunday’s Leinster final.
They will meet Portlaoise who, with seven titles, are top of the provincial roll of honour, prompting Macauley to make a colourful contrast between the two clubs.
“We’ve only won three Dublin championships,” said Macauley. “We know how hard they are to come by, so this is completely unprecedented territory for us, to be in a Leinster final. Portlaoise are very experienced when it comes to Leinster. They are the Klitschko, we’re like the Fury coming into this.
“But if you look at last weekend, sometimes Fury can beat the Klitschkos.”
Ballyboden will be without David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan, the Dublin hurler and former Dublin footballer, who is understood to be taking time out to travel.
But Macauley said Donegal inter-county goalkeeper Paul Durcan should be available despite now working in the Middle East.