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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 21 March, 2018

Do the Dubs benefit from a Croke Park bias?

Ahead of next Sunday’s Leinster showdown, Dublin’s familiarity with GAA headquarters has been placed under the spotlight.

Dublin's Bernard Brogan and Wexford's Graeme Molloy in action in Croke Park in last year's Leinster final.
Dublin's Bernard Brogan and Wexford's Graeme Molloy in action in Croke Park in last year's Leinster final.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

WEXFORD DEFENDER AINDREAS Doyle has highlighted the unfair advantage that the Dublin footballers are granted from playing the majority of their games in Croke Park and admits that financial decisions are fuelling the decision to schedule their ties at headquarters.

“I’ve been known to bring this up in the past. Last year they played 14 games and played eleven of them here (in Croke Park), between the League and the championship. That would be unheard of in any other sport. If Kerry played eleven of their 14 games in Killarney we’d see them win the All-Ireland every year.

“It has to be an advantage. Obviously there are huge monetary considerations and the GAA are making massive money when Dublin play here. But that’s not for us to decide and we’re looking forward to playing them here. It is an advantage to them, there’s no point in saying it’s not.”

It’s an obstacle Wexford must attempt to overcome next Sunday as they face Pat Gilroy’s squad at the Leinster semi-final stage. Aside from facing Dublin in last year’s provincial decider, Doyle is well acquainted with his opponents as he plays his club football with capital side Parnells where he is a teammate of goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton.

“When I moved to Dublin first I lived with Stephen. Everyone looks to Stephen. He doesn’t talk a whole lot to the media, but he’s a really interesting character. Parnells is a club with a team made up with a lot of lads from outside of Dublin. He’s local, playing with Parnells 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. Stephen’s a winner – any day he goes out he just wants to win win. That rubs off on everyone else. It was great to see him have that moment in the All-Ireland final last year and once the free was there it was made for him.

“I haven’t spoken to him since last week. Stephen is Stephen so we wouldn’t go into too much detail about the game. Him playing with Dublin and me playing with Wexford, we wouldn’t see a whole lot of each other with the club. There are three of us from Wexford playing with Parnells so there’ll be a nice bit of slagging. The best slagging will be next week once the result is known and hopefully I’ll be on the right side of that.”

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