Ciarán Murphy: Paul Mannion looks the poster boy for the benefits of club life

Split-season opens up a lifestyle debate for players when it comes to intercounty game

Kilmacud Crokes’ Paul Mannion is chased by Daniel O’Neill of Wolfe Tones during the AIB Leinster Club SFC quarter-final  at Páirc Tailteann in  Navan. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

Kilmacud Crokes’ Paul Mannion is chased by Daniel O’Neill of Wolfe Tones during the AIB Leinster Club SFC quarter-final at Páirc Tailteann in Navan. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

The All-Ireland club championships can often provide you with an interesting juxtaposition. The big city club goes up against the rural parish. The team stacked with county stars goes up against the well-drilled, no-stars-needed outfit. The young starlet faces off against a grizzled veteran long retired from the intercounty scene but eager for one last scalp before they ride off into the sunset.

Other juxtapositions can be a little more subtle, like the one on Sunday that saw two retired intercounty forwards line out at number 11 for their clubs in Navan.

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