Nicky English: Tight Parnell Park unfair to visitors

Nicky English at the launch of Sky Sports' GAA Championship coverage for the 2019 season

Former All-Ireland winning Tipperary player and manager Nicky English has surprisingly questioned the fairness of Dublin’s Parnell Park as a hurling Championship venue.

The Tipp legend and Sky Sports co-commentator made the comment at the launch of the broadcaster’s coverage of the GAA Championship.

Dublin will host Wexford and Galway at Parnell Park in the Leinster championship in May and June and will fancy their chances after winning all three of their home games in the Allianz League.

But English said the pitch is too small and questioned how fair it is to ask visiting teams to play on it.

“Teams won’t like going to Parnell Park,” said English. “For me, I’m not sure....Parnell Park, from an inter-county hurling perspective, for Championship matches, it’s a very difficult place to go.

Like, you could argue if you were the opposition whether it’s fair to actually play in Parnell Park, because it’s very tight.

Asked if he felt the pitch was too small for Championship matches, English nodded.

“Yeah, I think it’s too tight, for inter-county senior hurling matches, I think it’s too tight,” said the former Tipp forward, who questioned its value to Dublin in the broader scheme of things.

“And ultimately, if you want to win (silverware) you ultimately have to go to Croke Park to win anyway.

“The team that’s going to prosper in the close confines of Parnell Park is unlikely to prosper in Croke Park, where you have to go if you’re going to win anything.”

Mattie Kenny’s Dublin beat Carlow, Waterford and Laois at Parnell Park in this year’s league, the win over Waterford their first over a genuine All-Ireland contender in two years.

They also ran Kilkenny close at the venue in last year’s Championship under Pat Gilroy and hammered Offaly there.

“If you want to create a fortress, then no better place to create it than Parnell Park because the confines are conducive to that,” said English. “I don’t know the measurements but certainly it feels tight in the corners. As a one-time corner-forward, Parnell Park wouldn’t have been one of my favourites.”

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