Friday 13 December 2019

Paul Mannion out of Dublin's 2015 league defence

Paul Mannion, Dublin, in action against Grarme Molloy, Wexford. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Dublin v Wexford. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE
Paul Mannion, Dublin, in action against Grarme Molloy, Wexford. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Dublin v Wexford. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE

Conor McKeon

PAUL MANNION could miss all of Dublin's Allianz League campaign next year after embarking to China owing to his studies.

An All Star nominee in 2013, Mannion (pictured) will be out of Ireland until at least late spring and thus is unlikely to play a part for Jim Gavin until preparations for next summer's Leinster SFC begin.

A Business student in UCD, Mannion has departed for the Far East as part of his studies after a mixed year.

Initially hampered with the hamstring injury which forced him out of last September's All-Ireland SFC final after just 16 minutes, Mannion went on to star for Dublin's U21s, kicking 0-9 (seven placed balls) in their All-Ireland final win over Roscommon at the start of May, his second title at the grade.

Subsequently, the Kilmacud Crokes man endured a furstrating summer.

He began Dublin's Leinster final campaign on the bench but started in the semi-final against Wexford, scoring three points from play.

However, having been shut down by Meath and replaced at half-time in the Leinster final cakewalk, Mannion lost and never regained his place in Gavin's starting 15.

Indeed, for both the quarter-final win over Monaghan and semi-final loss to Donegal, Mannion was behind the likes of Cormac Costello and Dean Rock in the Dublin forward's pecking order.

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With no U21 duties to divide his time next year, Mannion could have expected to see significant game time as Gavin will no doubt shuffle his deck somewhat after a disappointing end to a season that promised so much.

impossible

But given Mannion is not scheduled to return from China until the back end of the competition, it is near impossible that the player would be sufficiently fit or sharp enough to partake prior to the commencement of summer.

He will also now miss out on Kilmacud Crokes Dublin SFC 'B' campaign which starts up on Sunday week.

The Stillorgan club were beaten by St Oliver Plunkett's/ER in the 'A' Championship but nevertheless, will be strong favourites to win the second tier competition.

Conor Deegan's charges take on Parnell's in the first round.

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