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Duffy backing for Blue vision of the future

PARAIC DUFFY has given his backing Dublin's ambitious plans to effectively make itself a provincial body within the GAA's structures as outlined in "The Blue Wave: A Strategy for Dublin GAA 2011 - 2017".

As part of the document, under the heading "Providing First-Class Management and Governance Structure for Dublin GAA," one of the key actions seeks the "designation of provincial status for Dublin for developmental purposes" by early next year, with the goal of granting Dublin a greater input into decision making at national level.

Dublin are also seeking an increase in central funding to greater reflect the level of revenue generated by the county at provincial and national level and in order to cater for their massive population and a projected 20 per cent increase in participation throughout the county.

The document also states Dublin's ambition to establish permanent representation on Leinster Council's Management Committee and on Coiste Banistí.

"I certainly wouldn't have a problem with that," Duffy told the Herald. "Dublin have got to make their argument. But in terms of representation at provincial level and national level, I think they have a very good case." The changes would represent a radical change in how the GAA's provincial structures operate and would require a complex motion to Congress which, in turn, would need significant nationwide backing.

BRIAN CODY was last night returned as Kilkenny hurling manager for 14th successive year. His selectors, Michael Dempsey and Martin Fogarty, will also continue for a sixth season in a row.

The appointment was unanimously ratified at a meeting of the county board.

Cody, the most successful manager in the history of hurling, could become the most decorated in the GAA outright if he guides the Cats to yet another All-Ireland title. Currently, Kilkenny have won eight All-Irelands under his watch, the same number as Mick O'Dwyer managed with Kerry.

Meanwhile, the controversial winter training ban will be staggered in accordance with when a team exits the championship once a new format is agreed and ratified at Congress next April.

The blanket ban over the months of November and December will be replaced by a timeframe specific to when a particular county's inter-county season ended.

Those knocked out in the first round of qualifiers in football and hurling in June will be permitted to return on November 15 while teams last into July, can return by December 1.

Similarly, football teams who make the last eight or last four of the All-Ireland without lasting until September and beaten hurling semi-finalists can return on December 8 although those who make it to the final will not be allowed resume collective training until December 29.