Dublin sharp shooter Paul Mannion is raring to go for 2020 and is hoping for more success
Last year Dublin forward Paul Mannion changed his lifestyle. Banishing meat, dairy and eggs, Mannion took on a fully vegan plant-based diet. Much to the initial concern of team nutritionist Daniel Davey. But All Star got his plan in order. And managing his protein requirements to compete at high levels has now become second nature.
Mannion has always been socially and politically engaging. And following a challenge set by a friend to do his own bit, he changed his diet.
“I’ve met loads of people who have said they’ve cut out red meat.” he told the Irish Times this week.
“My dad, a few of my friends, a few lads on the team now as well are trying more and more vegan food. I’m noticing the vegan portions at dinner after training are dwindling! So, it’s nice as well to, I suppose, share my experience and to know that that’s informing other people as well.”
And while Mannion has taken this approach to life, it’s certainly grabbed the interest of some of his team-mates.
“I don’t try and convince any of them. I try not to be pushy or too outspoken about it, because I know that people tend to just really hate pushy vegans. And I don’t try and convince anyone. I just tell them my own experiences of doing it, my own observations. I think people are kind of naturally curious and interested.”
Paul enjoyed Christmas in his own way, with a Shepherd-less Pie that he admits his mother went to great lengths to create.
Life after Gavin and the Drive for Five
Dublin supporters are excitedly waiting for the beginning of a new era under new manager Dessie Farrell. For everyone it’s a complete unknown. Based on Dessie’s success at U21 level though the air of confidence in Dublin doesn’t appear to have dropped since celebrating the historic five in a row.
Mannion know that the team will need to reinvent themselves now. And ask the hard questions.
“We’ve had a few months off to celebrate and reflect on that achievement and now we’re focusing on where can we actually go from here. And just trying to move that ceiling, I guess, and just focus on one game at a time and trying to get better as individuals and as a team and see where that takes us. When we’re all retired we can all look back on it.”
“There are so many different sides to it. I think the one we’re going to focus on is how are we going to make sure we’re a team that doesn’t fade away after this achievement. What would that say about us if we did? Everyone’s talking about it. Why should it be just five? Because it hadn’t been done before? What if it was six? We’d all be going with the same hunger and fervour.”
The Cluxton Factor has been massive
Paul admits there was never any talk of winning five All Irelands and drifting off into the sunset. And he chooses Stephen Cluxton’s decision to stay with the team as the perfect example.
“He won Footballer of the Year, five All-Irelands in a row, captain through it all, and people might have thought that it was a good time for him to step away, but I’ve never seen him more hungry and looking forward to a new season.”
“I think that’s really set the tone and everyone is dying to get back in and see how far we can actually can go and not stop at five.”