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Kieran Donaghy Speaks Sense On Use Of Croke Park For Super 8 Games

Kieran Donaghy Speaks Sense On Use Of Croke Park For Super 8 Games

Kieran Donaghy believes that for next year's All-Ireland football quarter-finals Super 8s stage, the round of neutral venue games should not be played at Croke Park.

Next weekend's fixtures will see all four matches played at GAA headquarters. For Dublin, it will be their second game at Croke Park in the Supers 8s having defeated Cork there on Saturday night. That the Dubs get two games at what is their de facto home ground rankles with many.

"I've played up there enough times in full houses and great atmospheres and it's a joy to play in but when it's not full, it's just ghostly, it's eerie and you can't get atmosphere," Donaghy told Sky Sports.

I have no problem with Dublin playing their neutral games in Croke Park, I have a problem with all teams going to Croke Park. These games should be taken around the country; bring them to places which might not get too much for their economy at this time of year. Dublin love to travel. They don't that opportunity much but when they do, they love to travel.

If you had a Mayo and Dublin in a neutral venue and you brought it to a Semple Stadium, you'd have something similar to Kerry and Dublin [2001 All-Ireland quarter-final]. They're still talking about that game. Why? Because there was an atmosphere and two teams lived up to it.

It was like Kerry in 2014 in the Gaelic Grounds against Mayo. Teams will go to that neutral venue. They'll pack it out and you'll have a cracking atmosphere. That's what the neutral venue is about; it can't be neutral when Dublin are playing in Croke Park.

Put to him by presenter Brian Carney that some would be upset by not being able to get tickets for a smaller venue, Donaghy responded:

"We're very precious about that in the GAA. We queue for concerts, people lie out in the street for three weeks before big concerts if they want that ticket. If you want a ticket to go to a neutral [venue] game, and you want to see your team bad enough, you will find a way to get a ticket.

"We always err on the side of caution by bringing it to the huge places. We had Cork and Laois last week playing in Semple Stadium, a beautiful stadium. That's the wrong place to bring that game. Bring that game to a 10,000 [capacity venue] where you get 5,000 from Cork and 5,000 from Laois, pack the place out with a great game and a great atmosphere.

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"There just has to be a bit more thought by the CCCC when they are picking venues for these games. Last year the first round of games was the neutral games in Croke Park. That was a horror show.

"The tweak they have to make for next year is that Super 8 games will be at a neutral [provincial] venue and it keeps Croke Park special for All-Ireland semi-finals."

You can watch Donaghy speaking on Sky Sports below.

See Also: ‘We Are Going To Destroy The GAA’ – Healy’s Urgent Call For Change

PJ Browne
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