Sunday 11 December 2016

McElhinney says no to Croke Park Ulster final

Published 05/07/2016 | 02:30

McElhinney: “At the end of the day we’re all from Ulster and we want to play our big games in Ulster.” Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
McElhinney: “At the end of the day we’re all from Ulster and we want to play our big games in Ulster.” Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Donegal's Martin McElhinney would rather play their Ulster final clash with Tyrone in the province amidst suggestions the game should be moved to Croke Park.

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McElhinney, who kicked a point as Donegal got past Monaghan at the second time of asking, believes the Ulster final could lose some of its atmosphere if the game was moved.

"There was some talk about making it a double header in Croke Park, but I wouldn't want to bring it there because the close proximity of the crowd in Cavan - the fans were in on top of you - creates a real atmosphere. If you bring it (to Croke Park) it might lose that.

"At the end of the day we're all from Ulster and we want to play our big games in Ulster."

Donegal have already played an Ulster final in Croke Park. Back in 2006, they went down to Armagh at the Jones' Road venue on a day that saw McElhinney line out for the county's minor side.

"I was actually playing in the Ulster minor final the same day as the Ulster final against Armagh," he recalled, at the unveiling of the kits teams will wear at the Etihad Airways GAA World Games which begins on August 7.

"It was a great achievement for us because we were minors and there was a great buzz with the senior team and the supporters.

"I think it had to go (to Croke Park) that time because with the crowd they couldn't hold it in Clones but I don't think it would be right to move them now.

"There was no discussion about it at all (among the squad), it was never mentioned, but I don't think it's a runner.

"If you want to play in an Ulster final, you want to play it in Clones. It's a great day out in Clones and it's a serious pitch and we love nothing better than driving into Clones on a Sunday for an Ulster final."

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