Thursday 30 March 2017

Gilroy joy at Croker clearance

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

DUBLIN manager Pat Gilroy has welcomed the decision to play his side's Allianz National Football League matches at Croke Park.

The All-Ireland semi-finalists will take on Cork, Kerry, Mayo and Down at the Jones's Road venue in Division 1 in the new year, in a move that is being viewed as a positive sign for Dublin's prospects in next year's championship. Gilroy used the league to build his new side last season and develop the system that saw them overcome their initial difficulties in Leinster to narrowly miss out against eventual champions Cork in an epic semi-final.

And the manager, entering his third season in charge, believes the move will be beneficial to both his team and fans ahead of Dublin's latest quest to end a 16-year wait for an All-Ireland title.

"It's great news for all concerned," a delighted Gilroy said. "The NFL is very important in terms of progress for all teams, as we saw last season, and to play in Croke Park is a privilege, so playing four of the country's top teams there will be a great honour and challenge for us.

"From a supporter's perspective, it will be great see games under lights in Croke Park, particularly the double-header fixtures with ourselves and the senior hurlers. I'd like to thank our new county chairman, Andy Kettle, whose hard work with the GAA secured the NFL fixtures at Croke Park."

Irish Independent

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