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GAA image concerns Dolan

A week ahead of the All-Ireland Senior Club Championship final, Garrycastle star Dessie Dolan has said that the GAA need to get its house in order. The veteran pointed to what he believes was the inappropriate selection of The Rubberbandits as half-time entertainment for the first round Allianz National League game between Dublin and Kerry in Croke Park as "an opportunity to do something big, but instead it was very poor".

Dolan believes a greater effort is needed from the Association to improve its marketing schemes. "Just look at the Railway Cup for example -- the whole thing is a mess," said Dolan.

He also urged the GAA not to lose its identity in the wake of recent debates regarding the issuing of payments to referees and managers. "The GAA has something special. If they keep on dragging out this kind of stuff then it doesn't send a positive message. You don't see this sort of stuff coming up in rugby or soccer," he said. "For such a good organisation, niggly stuff like this shouldn't be happening so much."

The forward is well accustomed to success with Garrycastle yet, as he prepares for his first All-Ireland Club Championship final, he admits that it is only recently that the Athlone club truly believed they could make a breakthrough at provincial and national level.

"Maybe because we were from Westmeath we were probably wondering should we really be winning these things. Eventually we got the necessary self-belief, and the younger lads that we got in definitely made a big difference. In Leinster the likes of Kilmacud Crokes would only beat us by a point or two and then go on and do really well, so we knew we weren't that far off the mark."

Sunday Indo Sport