Dublin must do without Paul Mannion for 2015 League and Championship

Kilmacud Crokes player studying in China for a year

Dublin footballers have been dealt a blow ahead of 2015 with the news that Paul Mannion is set to be unavailable for the coming year.

The Kilmacud Crokes player left Ireland on Wednesday for a year to study in Beijing as part of his course in UCD. He has won All-Ireland senior, under-21 and minor titles with Dublin.

Crokes senior manager Conor Deegan says Mannion will be a major loss to club and county. "Paul is a phenomenal footballer and a fantastic lad," Deegan said. "From a club perspective to lose a player of that quality it's devastating."

Meanwhile, Sligo want to nail down Pat Flanagan as their manager for next season despite pressure from Offaly on him to take charge of his native county.


The Clara native was given a one-year deal with the option of another when he was appointed in Sligo last November.

Discussions have taken place between Sligo officials and Flanagan since the county’s championship exit but interest from his native Offaly has now emerged.