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Saturday 10 December 2016

Dubs leaving confines of Croker 'great for the game'

JACK Sheedy has endorsed the idea of moving Dublin away from Croke Park for their opening Leintser SFC fixture in future.

Sheedy's Longford team play Offaly in Croke Park in two-and-a-half weeks time to decide which team claims the Division 4 title but of far greater significance is the counties meeting on May 16 in Tullamore in the first round of the Leinster SFC.

Whoever wins that match will qualify to play Dublin in the quarter-finals and already that match has been fixed for Croke Park, despite Longford or Offaly technically having home advantage on the basis that they were first out of the hat in the draw.

experienced

Sheedy, a former Dublin player in the 1990s, has experienced playing in blue for Championship matches outside of Croke Park and believes everyone would benefit.

"I think having Dublin go to the provincial venues to play would be fantastic for the game," Sheedy argued.

"I've spoken to people in different counties where we went when we were playing and they said the same thing.

"It's a boost to the local economy.

"All these things are a boost to the town for the day. It brings great colour. It just adds to the Championship fantastically and I think we need that in our games at the moment."

"Yes, I can say from my own perspective, we would love to be in a position where we would beat Offaly and have Dublin come to Pearse Park. No more than Offaly would like the same situation in Tullamore."

Sheedy added that the chances of an upset would also increase.

"Naturally, if that game was in Pearse Park or Tullamore, there is a levelling out of the divide.

"Whereas Croke Park, realistically no-one (in Leinster) has a chance to beat them in there."

Longford

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