Kildare rule out playing Dublin in Croke Park under Friday night lights
GAELIC GAMES:Kieran McGeeney’s Kildare football management have refused to facilitate the first ever Friday night league game under lights at Croke Park.
Dublin and the GAA fixtures committee were in agreement but could not convince Kildare to embrace the experiment. The fixture has instead been set for Sunday, March 10th, at 2pm. The Saturday was not viable as it clashed with Ireland’s home Six Nations match against France.
“We must open our minds more to midweek/Thursday/ Friday night matches where it is practical for the competing counties,” wrote Dublin secretary John Costello in his report to the county’s annual convention.
The GAA were also keen to trial Friday matches at headquarters, especially with a county just outside Dublin.
Dublin’s other “Spring Series” games at Croke Park have been confirmed for Saturday evenings against Cork on February 2nd, Mayo on March 2nd, Tyrone on March 16th – a double header with Anthony Daly’s hurlers facing Limerick – and Down on March 23rd.
“There has been fantastic progress made in the past few years of the Spring Series,” said GAA communications manager Alan Milton. “It is right and proper that it continues. Obviously, the Dublin hurlers being relegated to Division Two made it difficult to make more attractive double headers but thankfully everybody involved has come to an arrangement.”
It means that new Dublin football manager Jim Gavin only has two league fixtures on the road, albeit against Kerry (February 10th) and All-Ireland champions Donegal (April 7th).
Kildare must now convince the health and safety audit committee that a reduced capacity at St Conleth’s Park in Newbridge is capable of staging Allianz national league fixtures. The committee meets this week to sign off, or reject, all county grounds ahead of 2012.
Ongoing work at St Conleth’s must be completed in time for Kerry’s visit on March 3rd.
The ground’s capacity has been reduced to 6,000, which the Kildare board agreed would not be enough to facilitate the Dublin match or Donegal on February 2nd , which is now a Croke Park double header with Dublin versus Cork.
“At the moment we have no home venue,” said a Kildare GAA county board spokesperson yesterday. “The whole ground needs renovation from the turnstiles to toilets to the stands. The emphasis is on everything.” Will it be ready in time? “Yes and no . . . I wouldn’t think so.”
Meanwhile, the first step has been made to allow GAA grounds be made available for the IRFU to launch their bid to stage the 2023 World Cup in Ireland.
A motion from Salthill/Knocknacarra in Galway calling on the GAA to make grounds around the country available, as part of the bid, was unanimously passed at Monday’s county board convention.
The motion from the Salthill/Knocknacarra club will now go before the 2013 GAA Congress.
Fixtures Games to light up Croke Park
The CCCC has confirmed details for the upcoming Allianz League games for 2013 in Croke Park as follows:
February 2nd: NFL - Donegal v Kildare (5.15pm); Dublin v Cork (7pm)
March 2nd: NFL - Dublin v Mayo (7pm)
March 10th: NFL - Kildare v Dublin (2pm)
March 16th: NHL - Dublin v Limerick (5.15pm); NFL - Dublin v Tyrone (7pm)
March 23rd: NFL - Dublin v Down (7pm)