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O'Sullivan: Spring Series in Croker 'great experience' for young guns

The Dublin Allstar pitted himself against the All Blacks in a skills challenge yesterday.

O'Sullivan, right, met All Blacks captain Richie McCaw at an AIG event in Dublin yesterday.
O'Sullivan, right, met All Blacks captain Richie McCaw at an AIG event in Dublin yesterday.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

DUBLIN WON’T HAVE the chance to blood their youngsters in Croke Park if the Spring Series is scrapped next season.

The All-Ireland champions admitted yesterday that they may return to Parnell Park in 2014.

The decision to stage the Dubs’ home league games in Headquarters has been a success over the last three years.

But falling attendances and a lack of available double-headers may force those plans to be shelved.

“From a player’s point of view, it’s nice to play in Croke Park and it’s great for the younger lads, I suppose,” Cian O’Sullivan said yesterday.

It’s great experience for them to get a few games under their belt and then when they go into the summer at least they’re not playing there for the first time.

“I don’t think it would be a major deal if we did go back to Parnell. I’m not sure what the capacity is for Parnell but I’m sure they’d fill it out for the league games. It would be a great environment, smaller stadium, so the atmosphere would be great.

“From a player’s point of view I don’t think it’s a major issue.”

But he added: “Playing your first Championship game for Dublin is always a daunting prospect and if there’s any little thing you can take along the way to help you, you’ll take it.”

O’Sullivan shone this summer as the Dubs claimed their second All-Ireland title in three seasons.

His performances, not least against Kerry in the thrilling semi-final, earned him a first Allstar award.

“I wasn’t too fussed about it until I was there on the night, sitting in the chair and they were calling out the names.

“It’s only looking back on it afterwards that I kind of realised that it is a big honour and I’m very grateful to have been nominated and then to win the award was just amazing.

Tony Kelly echoed what most of the lads would think, you’d trade 10 Allstars for one Celtic Cross.

It was nice winning the Allstar but it doesn’t come close to the feeling on the third Sunday in September when you’re celebrating with the lads after winning an All-Ireland.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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