Paul Mannion excited by Dessie era

by Stephen Findlater

Paul Mannion is confident Dessie Farrell will make a significant impact coaching an accomplished collection of Dublin footballers.

The group returned to training in earnest last week and while the Kilmacud Crokes man has only had a few direct sessions with the new Dublin manager, he has been impressed by the early phases.

“We met him before heading off on holiday to set goals for the year and expectations – what he expected from us and what we can expect from them,” Mannion said at the launch of Eir Sports Allianz Leagues coverage.

“It was a little introduction to his management philosophy and so forth. It wasn’t new to all of us given the amount of players that have worked with him before.

“I think he is quite similar to Jim [Gavin] in many ways, he is not coming in to try to tear up the playbook or anything like that.

“He has no notions about himself, he is looking forward to working with us, observing how things have been done, and from there to add things to improve us.

“Every manager is different.I think Dessie even managing from his days with the GPA he is very focused on ensuring that players as people are very well rounded and settled in their lives and happy in their lives outside of the thing.

“I think that has always been important to every team I’ve played on, but Dessie is particularly passionate about that.

The Dubs get going on Saturday evening at 7.15pm in Croke Park before travelling to Mayo a week later for game two.

And Mannion is raring to go and see how things will work out after five barnstorming years of All-Ireland success.

“It will be new in ways, but, as I said, he knows so many players, he was a brilliant player himself, he has had success and knows what it takes to win an All-Ireland as a player and a manager and I’m sure he’ll learn a lot as the year goes on.

“We’re going to be completely open with him about how we’ve done things, welcome him into the environment and culture and all the things we’ve developed. I’m looking forward to seeing what he adds of his own. It’s going to be an interesting year.”

Stephen Cluxton will miss most of the league but will return when back from injury and Mannion says that while the goalkeeper’s potential retirement was discussed in the media, he always felt the Parnell’s man would continue on.

“He never said he wasn’t so I just assumed that he was,” Mannion laughs.

“There were no signs that he was ever going to drop off.

“As a man, he is completely driven, hungry for winning more and above all people he cared the least about this five craic.”

“He just wants to go on to play as long as he can and be with us for as long as he can.”

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