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Saturday 3 December 2016

Johnny: Let's fill Croker for hurlers

Hill 16
Hill 16

AS the debate rages over Dublin's perennial date in Croke Park for their Leinster SFC opener, another - less obvious - issue over the fixture is being largely ignored.

Namely, which match of the May 31st double-header should take place first.

Yes, the Dublin footballer's clash with Offaly or Longford (4.0) will draw a bigger crowd but you couldn't argue that it was a more significant match than the hurler's meeting with Galway, two hour earlier..

Nor could you rationally adjudge the main event as being more likely to serve up a portion of drama.

"It's hard to know," says Johnny McCaffrey, well accustomed now to filling the undercard for the footballers on days such as the aforementioned.

"The footballers are going to bring a bigger crowd.

"It would have been nice to be the second game all right but the fixture is set now, there's nothing we can do about it."

Some 32,567 saw Dublin in their last Championship match in Croke Park, the disappointing 2014 Leinster final defeat to Kilkenny though McCaffrey sees potential to draw an even greater crowd on the last day of this month, given the footballers' presence on the same bill.

"We want to get as big a crowd as possible," he explained.

"Croke Park is a different place when there's only 15 or 20 thousand people there. If there's 30 or 40, it's a great place to play in."

Dublin hurling

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