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Playing at HQ gives Dubs edge - Aindreas

AINDREAS Doyle is adamant that The Spring Series has contributed to Dublin's success over the past year.

In particular, the Wexford man believes their residence in Croke Park for all home league matches over the past two seasons has handed the Dubs an unfair advantage over their rivals.

"Last year Dublin played 14 games, and played 11 of them here, between the league and the championship. It would be unheard of in any other sport," Doyle stated.

"If Kerry played 11 of their 14 games down in Killarney we'd be seeing Kerry win the All-Ireland maybe every year. It has to be an advantage.

"Obviously there are huge monetary conditions with it as well. The GAA are making massive money when Dublin are playing here.

"It is not for us to decide where Dublin play but it has to be an advantage for them; there is no point saying it is not."

Still, Doyle admits - albeit reluctantly - that he was cheering on Dublin in last year's All-Ireland final, particularly when his Parnell's clubmate, Stephen Cluxton, strode forth to take the match-winning free.

"I was, but I don't like admitting it," he laughed. "I was here and it was great.

"When I moved to Dublin first I lived with Stephen. It was great to see him putting it over.

"Everyone looks to Stephen. He doesn't talk a whole lot to the media, but he's a really interesting character.

"It was great to see him have that moment and once the free was there it was made for him."


Doyle added: "There's no point in saying otherwise; Parnell's is a club with a team made up with a lot of lads from outside of Dublin. He's local, playing with Parnell's all his life, and that's a massive part of any club.

"You need the local connection and the local lads to keep that impetus going in the club. Parnell's is a massive club and he's a winner - any day he goes out he just wants to win. That rubs off on everyone else.

"Going forward, the next couple of years, hopefully Parnell's can win a Dublin Senior Football Championship and if we do Stephen will be a massive part of that."

A parliamentary secretary for Mick Wallace by day, suffice to say Doyle has had quieter months but after close calls with Dublin in their last two championship meetings, he is expecting a competitive display on Sunday, respite from his unexpectedly hectic work schedule.

"It's a little bit different this year because Dublin are All-Ireland champions now," he conceded.

"After the last two games we played against them it gives us confidence we can compete with them.

"Obviously watching them against Louth they were devastating and we have to be very aware of that for Sunday but we are looking forward to it," he concluded.