Tuesday 21 November 2017

Gilroy backs move to fence Hill 16

Dublin manager Pat Gilroy
Dublin manager Pat Gilroy
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin manager Pat Gilroy has branded the fencing of Croke Park a "drastic" move.

Gilroy has backed the move to erect the 2.8m-high fencing that will prevent supporters on Hill 16, synonymous with Dublin support, from entering the field of play for post-match presentations.

But he admits it's a leap of faith by those charged with making such decisions. "With all of these things I think you have to take a leap of faith and assume that all the safety aspects are taken into account when you do something as drastic as that.

"I wouldn't have an idea in terms of the safety benefits but you would have to trust that, in terms of the people who have made that decision, they have really scrutinised that and that it must be their only option.

"The overriding thing in this always has to be safety and if there is a genuine risk of someone getting killed by not having a fence. If it causes a bit of discomfort in viewing, if it's going to save a life, I don't think there is any argument about it."

Gilroy estimated yesterday that, despite reaching an All-Ireland semi-final, Dublin were only playing to 70pc of their capacity as a team and the way they want to play. Success over Tipperary, Armagh, Louth and their old nemesis Tyrone have lifted confidence and surpassed expectations for the season. But the performances have been far from perfect, according to Gilroy, who has identified key areas for improvement ahead of Sunday's much-anticipated All-Ireland semi-final.

"We're about 70pc there," he said yesterday after announcing that Cian O'Sullivan would replace Barry Cahill in the half-back line, the only change from the Tyrone game. "There's still an awful lot that we're not doing. We're trying to do it, but it's still not coming off. We're certainly getting a lot closer to what we're trying to do as the games have gone on."

Gilroy feels his team are still too naive when it comes to holding on to possession. "You only have to look at our last three games in the qualifiers and they were riddled with mistakes. There's massive room for improvement. The last day we gave the ball away too easy when we weren't under pressure."

Irish Independent

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