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Final rematch first for Dubs

SAM MAGUIRE holders, Dublin, are set to open their 2012 Allianz NFL campaign in an All-Ireland final rematch against Kerry under lights at Croke Park in early February.

County boards have been provided with a proposed league schedule for next season with a rematch of the Dubs and the Kingdom set to draw a huge crowd to Croker on Saturday, February 4.

Last year the Dublin County Board ran a highly successful Spring Series of 'home' games in Croke Park and Dublin fans are set for a repeat next year with two senior football/hurling double-headers on Sunday, March 11 (possibility of being moved to Saturday night) against Armagh's footballers and Cork's hurlers and again on Saturday, March 24 against Donegal's footballers and Tipperary's hurlers.

However, unlike this spring when the Dubs enjoyed four home football league fixtures, they have three next season with the scheduling and opposition making the mooted Friday night NFL fixture highly unlikely.

This would mean that all Dublin's 'home' football (three) and hurling (two) games would be played in Croke Park next year. This year the hurlers hosted their clash with Galway at Parnell Park.

Reigning Allianz Hurling League champions, Dublin, open the defence of their title with an away trip against the Tribesmen on Sunday, February 26.

Anthony Daly's Dubs met Galway in league and championship action this year -- a late éanna Ryan goal gave Galway victory (2-11 to 0-14) in the league encounter at Parnell Park in late March before the Dubs triumphed in the summer Leinster SHC semi-final duel (0-19 to 2-7) at O'Connor Park, Tullamore.

In club news, Dublin centre-back and All-Star nominee, Ger Brennan (St Vincent's), looks set to miss tomorrow's eagerly awaited Evening Herald Dublin SFC quarter-final against St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh in Parnell Park (4.30).

The powerful defender missed out on last weekend's victory over UCD and looks set to lose out again owing to a knee injury picked up in a recent club challenge game.

Likewise, his Dublin team-mate and All-Star nominee, Alan Brogan, is a major concern for Plunkett's.

Brogan, who is expected to be named 2011 Footballer of the Year at tonight's GAA GPA All-Stars banquet, is also struggling with a knee injury.