It’s been a fiery inter-county baptism for Donegal’s Nathan Mullins but the 2017 Dublin club footballer of the year has no intention of letting recent disappointments upset him.
Recruited by Declan Bonner after a fine run of form with St Vincent’s on their way to a senior county title last year, the Cardonagh-born son of Dublin legend Brian is upbeat despite the sending off against Kerry and the early substitution against Dublin.
Shown a red card for kicking out in the opener in Killarney, Mullins sensed he let down the team badly.
“I felt at fault that we lost and was suspended then for the Galway game.
“Then I didn’t have a game under my belt going into Croke Park but it was all a massive learning curve... a silly bit of red mist. I just have to put that behind me now.”
As regards the early withdrawal against Dublin, he said: “It didn’t go to plan.
“The management felt I wasn’t up to the challenge against (Brian) Fenton and I got taken off earlier than I would have expected. It wasn’t a great night.
“But again this is just a challenge, I knew it was going to be tough, I just have to dust myself off and get on with it and that’s what I’m trying to do.
“These things happen. Declan is the manager and whether I agree or disagree with the decision, it happened.
“It was tough to be taken off after 20 minutes in Croke Park against Dublin after everything going on. It wasn’t a nice feeling. But there are no hard feelings or no issues — I know I wasn’t playing great.”
A former Donegal and Dublin U21, 27-year-old Mullins has made the breakthrough after years of injuries and layoffs.
He trains once a week in Blanchardstown with the Dublin-based Donegal players, with almost a dozen now based in the capital, and then once in the north-west.
The McKenna Cup final win preceding the first win of their Division 1 campaign in Newbridge has buoyed the camp, but as they face fellow strugglers Tyrone on Saturday, he knows they need to do more.
“People are saying to you in conversations, ‘You played well and the football was great’ and stuff but that’s not good enough for us.
“We want to win. We’ve done everything we can to win games. We’re just trying to do our best to get better each time we’re together.”
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