Dean Rock: 'Money is used in the right way to nurture young talent in Dublin'
Dublin star Dean Rock believes the work of games promotion officers (GPO) has made a substantial difference to the strength of GAA clubs in the capital.
In the wake of Dublin's 16-point destruction of Meath in the Leinster final, the GAA faced renewed criticism for the amount of games development funding invested in Dublin over the past decade, with Rock admitting it has made a substantial difference at his club, Ballymun Kickhams.
"You would hear [the criticism] in the background, but it is not something that I dwell on," he said. "I just know what we are doing in Ballymun, we have a GPO in Gerry Seaver who has been incredible for the area and the interest in Gaelic football that he is generating."
Rock said Seaver's work has been vital in attracting young players, with vast numbers attending the nursery programme every Saturday morning. "It's obviously being used to benefit so many, particularly in Ballymun where the kids could be going off to do different things. The money has been used in the right way in that instance, to nurture lots of young talent, both boys and girls."
The five-time All-Ireland winner said he has tuned out criticism about the Dubs' dominance. "I genuinely don't read papers and I don't look at Twitter when it comes to a certain part of the season, so I don't know what people are talking about. It's irrelevant and could potentially get in the way of something or get into your head, so why put yourself in that vulnerable situation? Guys are very good at keeping the head down and staying away from that stuff."
Rock revealed that he is now back to full fitness after injury had limited him to just 18 minutes in the Leinster final, during which his four-point tally equalled what Meath managed for the entire game.
"We take the Leinster Championship extremely seriously and we pride ourselves on our preparation," he said.
"We do the analysis, we do the research and we give the opposition the respect they deserve. Whether you go out and win by whatever amount of points, that's down to your preparation and I suppose we're relentless in that - in our pursuit of our own excellence."