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'We've already set up a table for the final' - Dublin Gerry'

 

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‘Dublin’ Gerry Gowran at Croke Park

‘Dublin’ Gerry Gowran at Croke Park

‘Dublin’ Gerry Gowran at Croke Park

Dubs fans may be locked out of Croke Park this evening but that won't stop them cheering on the Boys in Blue.

The five-in-a-row winners' last All-Ireland football semi-final drew an 82,000 sell-out crowd on an August evening as they beat Mayo on their way to retaining the Sam Maguire cup.

However, the pandemic has led to this year's game being played on a cold December evening with no fans allowed into GAA Headquarters.

It means there's been no rush for tickets, and the streets around the stadium today won't be filled with fans awaiting throw-in or touts offering last-minute tickets.

Plans

Instead, Dublin fans are supporting their team from home or in the pubs around Croker - and are already making plans for the final later this month.

Gerry Gowran, better known as 'Dublin Gerry' in GAA circles, has been going to Dublin games since 1958 and today's match will be the first major fixture he has missed in over half a century.

He told the Herald: "We have to go by the rules. If we tried to get into (Croke Park) and got in, it would only start World War 3.

"It would only be causing trouble so we have to bite the bullet. The coverage on television is excellent in fairness so it will have to do." The confident Dubs fan is already looking past the challenge Cavan will put up and is making preparations for the final on December 19.

"We're setting up a table with gear for the final and using a laptop.

"I'd say they'll win by about eight or nine points.. The team train themselves at this stage after seven years with Jim (Gavin).

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Dubs fan Noel McMullan

Dubs fan Noel McMullan

Dubs fan Noel McMullan

"They're self-motivated and can move up a gear at anytime. Cavan will give it a go in the first half hour and then bang, Dublin will go into overdrive. I'd love to see them get eight medals and match the great Kerry team."

'Dublin Gerry' also said he is looking forward to things getting back to normal and fans are welcomed back into stadiums.

"We have to just completely accept it and get it into the brain cells that it's a non-runner. Once Christmas comes and it goes back to league, we'll hopefully be back down the country."

He also said he would be remembering another legendary Dublin supporter and good friend Tony Broughan who sadly passed away in September.

Tony was one of Dublin's best-known supporters and was always seen at Dublin games in Croke Park and Parnell Park dressed as Molly Malone.

Noel McMullen, whose family have been based around Croke Park for three generations and are loyal supporters, said he will be watching a Dublin game from home for the first time in years."Before the matches, there would always be a gang of us in the pub and having the craic and the banter. That won't happen this year which will be strange, everything is just strange the way we're living at the moment.

"You can't go to the matches or even shake hands, it's strange and something you'd never expect.

"It's sad to see all these people dying and I wish there was something to stop it. People are trying their best. We have to go by the rules. You'd never be happy not being let in (to Croke Park) but everyone has to go by the rules and do the right thing. What's good for the goose is good for the gander."

Like many loyal Dublin supporters it will also be the first semi-final Noel will miss since the Dubs claimed their first Sam Maguire this century in 2011.

However, he said fans will find a way to create a buzz before the game and cheer on their team. "I think we'll win by six or seven. They know what to do and the way they're playing, they should match the great Kerry team," he said.


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