DUBLIN captain Bryan Cullen will hand back his armband next season after deciding to take an extended break from the intercounty scene in 2013.The 2011 All-Ireland winner isn't expected to return until March at the earliest, which is sure to be a big blow to new Dubs chief Jim Gavin, who will have no real option but to select a new captain for the O'Byrne Cup and National League. Diarmuid Connolly has been mentioned as an early front-runner, but after two superb seasons double All-Star and Fingallians stalwart Paul Flynn is sure to be considered by Gavin and his selectors also. Dublin chairman Andy Kettle confirmed last week that the tradition of letting the manager select his own captain will continue, ruling out the possibility of a Kerry-style scenario whereby the newly crowned county champions Ballymun Kickhams choose Cullen's successor. 'No, our county champions don't nominate the captaincy and I don't know if that tradition has ever been in Dublin. It will be decided by Jim Gavin, and his management team, although I'm not aware of any nomination yet. Jim hasn't even met the players as a group yet, only talked with a few individuals.' The Fingal Ravens man did confirm that Cullen is one of a number of senior stars likely to miss the start of 2013, and that a captain may not be selected until well into the spring. 'That's what it's looking like, with a few players taking a break or still out with injury. It is something we have looked at, and reckon it could be Dublin's league match against Mayo, in early March, before the full panel is available, when you consider the Sigerson Cup will also be happening up until then.'