Dublin’s six-time All-Ireland winner Paul Mannion says he couldn’t commit another season to the cause due to the demands of inter-county football.
Despite being on the bench last year, Mannion stresses he was not disillusioned or had lost his appetite for the game. Rather, he wanted to focus on other aspects of his life.
“It just got to a point where I had other things going on and I wanted to just spend time on that. Whether it’s work or family life, friends, social weekends, stuff like that, over the last kind of year, I had probably lost that bit of balance.
“I just felt the commitment of the inter-county game… just pretty heavy. Not that I wasn’t enjoying it. People ask me ‘are you fed up?’ or ‘were you sick of it?’ That’s not the case at all - it’s the best thing I’ve ever been a part of, I loved being a part of it. But we talk all the time about the commitment inter-county players give and it is a really big commitment.
“You can’t do it forever and it just got to the point where I’ve been doing it for a fair number of years now and I just want to spend time on other things, that’s really it, there is no big major reason other than that.”
The 28-year-old Kilmacud Crokes man has spoken to Jack McCaffrey about his call to step away and he is confident he too won’t rue stepping aside. “I’d be in regular contact with Jack anyway, we share a similar friend group so we’d be chatting a fair bit over the year. I knew he was happy and content with his decision and he wasn’t feeling any major regrets.
“That was one thing I wanted to be sure of, that I wouldn’t be thinking months later or years later ‘Jeez, I regret that.’ And I don’t think I will because I have had such a good run at it. I have so much to be grateful for."
Paul Mannion was talking at the launch of the 50th anniversary of the PwC All-Stars.