Galway’s rising QPR star reflects on Man of the Match debut

Ryan Manning applauds the fans after his impressive QPR debut.

The latest jewel in Galway’s sporting crown was this week reflecting on his dramatic introduction into the big time – a Man of the Match performance on his debut for Queens Park Rangers.

Ryan Manning, who lit up the League of Ireland before moving cross-channel almost two years ago, helped his side to end a run of six successive defeats – and earned the effusive praise of his colourful manager Ian Holloway in the process.

Indeed Holloway was so impressed by the Cregmore native’s display in that 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers that he started him in their next fixture just two days later.

Manning played for 69 minutes of the 2-1 home victory over Ipswich Town, an impressive achievement given he had played a full ninety minutes just two days earlier.

Speaking following his debut, the 20 year old said: “It was an unbelievable feeling. If someone had said to me this time last week I’d have made my debut at Wolves on New Year’s Eve, I’d have laughed.

“It was a dream debut – the best feeling I’ve ever had in football. To start for QPR in such a big game and then to play the 90 minutes and win the match in the final few minutes was an unreal feeling. I couldn’t ask for anything more to be honest,” he added.

The Ireland underage international had only been handed his squad number just hours before his debut and his rise to first team starter has come unexpectedly having previously being unable to force his way into first team contention since his cross-channel transfer.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.