There will be no third coming for Declan O’Mahoney with Dublin. The Ballyboden St Enda’s midfielder is only 31, three years Denis Bastick’s junior, but he had his time and there are no regrets.
If anything, he is grateful Jim Gavin gave him a second stab at it having featured in the panel from 2003 to ’08. And so he was there on the bench in September 2013 to add a Celtic Cross to his five Leinster medals.
He lasted two seasons with Gavin but demands elsewhere were taking hold of him. “It was good to be involved with Dublin but it was a massive commitment and I have a child at home as well. It was very tough. The training that we were doing was on a professional level. But it was a good experience.
“I suppose that every manager has their own preferences. I probably missed out on a few of my best years of football under Pat Gilroy. I was playing very well for the club. But I suppose Jim, I had worked with him at under-age, I had an U21 All-Ireland with him and he just asked me to come back and I was delighted to go back in and have a second chance at it. I was 29 at the time so I didn't think I was going to get the chance but it's funny how things work out.”
Had O’Mahoney joined Sydney Swans a little later than he did, he might well have followed in the illustrious path of his club-mate, the late Jim Stynes. A 17-year-old O’Mahoney was one of the first AFL draftees after Tadhg Kennelly but only lasted a month with the Kerryman at the Sydney Swans.
“I think they're letting lads go over a year or two later now when they're 20 or so. That will probably work out better for them because they used to bring lads over when they were 17 or 18 and I don't think that was beneficial. Like, in my own case, I came back home for Christmas and didn't really want to go back out.
“I must have been doing something right if they were going to sign me. I liked the lifestyle down there, the way they live and they were doing pre-season training which I enjoyed. I suppose I was a bit of a home bird as well and away from the parents for the first time.
“I always wonder. Like, obviously at the time I was a bit young and that was the choice I made. The way my career kind of panned out, I always wondered if I had been there and got a year or two of training with them, I probably would have developed more physically for when I came home than going straight into inter-county when I was 18. I was raw and skinny. But I suppose that's the way things work out.”
O’Mahoney is glad to say Ballyboden are au fait with Clonmel ahead of tomorrow's clash.
“Obviously the game between Clonmel and Nemo was on TG4 so I've seen that and I seen them against the London team so we'd know what they're like. Andy (McEntee) has done his bit of homework, he's good for doing his homework so we'll just let him work on that side of things and he'll feed us back the information.”