Sport Gaelic Football

Friday 15 December 2017

Gilroy opts for hotel overnight in Dublin to prepare for Model clash

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin took the unconventional step of staying overnight in a city hotel the night before their opening championship match against Wexford on Sunday.

In a break with tradition, Pat Gilroy gathered his players together in the Regency Airport Hotel, which is just minutes from Croke Park, on Saturday evening.

The purpose of the exercise was to keep the players together in a team environment for as long as possible because it was felt that it had worked well 'on the road' during the league.

Traditionally, Dublin players sleep in their own beds on the night before big games in Croke Park and it is understood that some players were dissatisfied with the arrangements.

The Regency Airport Hotel has become one of the Dublin team's partnership sponsors and it was the venue where Gilroy announced his first championship team of 2010 last Wednesday morning.


Some counties look at the logistics of a player being able to sleep in his own environment on the night before a game as a benefit.

Most Leinster teams opt to travel to Dublin on the day of the game, even those involved in All-Ireland semi-finals and finals.

For their All-Ireland triumph in 1995, Ger Loughnane arranged for the Clare squad to fly to Dublin on the morning of the semi-final and final, so that they could complete their build-up in their own environment.

Most Premier League soccer teams will, however, gather their squads together in a team hotel on the night before a match, even if they are playing at home.

The majority of Dublin players live close to Croke Park and may have felt it a strange experience.

For a 4.0 throw-in the strategy will raise some eyebrows, though it can hardly be attributed to the malaise of their first-half performance, which has thrown Gilroy's team selection for either Meath or Laois up in the air.

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