Former Dublin All-Star Paul Mannion has expressed his Dublin career is all but over, in an interview from the United States.
The former Kilmacud Crokes star left the Dublin panel after the 2020 All-Ireland win against Mayo, and after almost two full seasons away, he is happy with his decision.
Mannion is currently holidaying in the States whilst playing for the Donegal Boston club, but the six-time All-Ireland winner says his Dublin career is effectively over.
“I do feel like I have kind of drawn a line under it now,” said Mannion.
“I’ve been just enjoying the time with the club a lot and as I have said a few times now, the opportunity to do different things, to spend time on different things, I’m quite happy now.
“I’m still playing football and the game that I love. It’s not the game that I ever wanted to step away from itself, it’s just the size of the commitment to play inter-county. I was just kind of exhausted by that. Now I’ve got club championship which is just everything I love about Gaelic football.”
Former Dubs’ defender Paddy Christie said in late March it should be a priority for Dublin manager Dessie Farrell to coax Mannion back into the fold.
For many Dublin supporters, it is widely agreed that Mannion could still cut it at the top level. When asked if he had gone past the point of no return, Mannion refused to admit it.
“I don’t know, I think physically I’m still pretty okay. I’m probably technically past my prime a little bit (age wise) and that kind of thing but I still feel great, still feel like I’m able to perform to my best and yeah, I don’t think that would be the major issue for me.”
Dublin face Cork this Saturday in the All-Ireland quarter-finals at Croke Park, with a potential semi-final duel against old foes Kerry or Mayo, should they get past the Rebels. Mannion was questioned whether Farrell would have preferred stiffer opposition than Cork.
“If you get all the way to the final or semi-final after getting through a few tough tests, then maybe it can give you an edge but it could also leave you more tired after a run like that,” he said.
“Over those years I was involved, we kind of just ignored the draw and just focused on ourselves and how we were training. And yes, you absolutely give every single team the same level of respect in terms of preparation and analysis. They certainly won’t be thinking, ‘Oh, I wish we’d got a different team’. They will be giving full respect to Cork, and Cork deserve it because on any given day they are capable of an upset and Dublin could be capable of underperforming.”
Mannion, the three time All-Star between 2017-2019 is expecting a Dublin win and reminisced on a particular battle against Cork back in 2019.
“I think it was 2019 we played Cork, they put up a massive battle against us that day in Croke Park. I just think Dublin now, with the momentum they’ve got back and the confidence they have, it’ll be a massive challenge for Cork.”