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Duffy: No barriers to Friday night fixture

PAURIC DUFFY has backed the re-staging of the Spring Series next year and also stated that the GAA would not stand in the way of a potential Friday night fixture.

This year's four-game series was widely deemed a success, although there was some controversy when Croke Park refused to sanction a Friday night throw-in for Dublin's clash with Mayo, a match which subsequently went ahead on the Sunday afternoon and drew the smallest crowd of the four events.

"As far as we're concerned, I would hope it will continue," said Duffy yesterday. "We won't be putting any barriers in their way. We would be encouraging Dublin to play their games in Croke Park, and hopefully when the fixtures issue is resolved in the hurling league we can sit down and talk about that. But from a GAA's perspective, it's something we'd like to see continue."

On the subject of the Mayo game, Duffy again explained that the distance involved in the away side travelling to the capital was the reason the game was not sanctioned, although officials, management and players in the county all insisted that there was no issue regarding work commitments.

"The problem with the Dublin-Mayo game last year was that it was Mayo," he insisted. "If it was Dublin-Meath, or Dublin-Kildare, two teams from adjoining counties, there's nothing in principal against that.

"We often play U21 games midweek, and so on.

"The problem with Mayo was because they were so far away they had to take a day off work and so on, but there's no reason why they couldn't play Laois, for example, who are in the same division.

"I think that would be well worth exploring, and I certainly think there would be a market for it, a game played on a Friday night against an adjoining team."

Duffy also said he hoped Dublin's status as All-Ireland champions would generate greater crowds for the series if it goes ahead.

"The only really disappointing crowd was for the Sunday game," he admitted. "The Saturday night games actually did very well. The crowds were excellent, and way bigger than they'd have had in Parnell Park. So I think whether it's Friday night or Saturday night, there is great interest in playing games under lights. And we certainly won't be putting barriers in their way if fixtures are alright."