Dublin leaving Croke Park as Nowlan Park hosts Leinster battle

Dublin will next season play their first provincial senior football championship game outside Croke Park in 10 years.

Dublin leaving Croke Park as Nowlan Park hosts Leinster battle

Confirmed by the Leinster Council last night, the reigning All-Ireland and Leinster champions’ are heading for Nowlan Park next June where they will face the winners of Laois and Wicklow in a quarter-final.

Laois will be disappointed O’Moore Park hasn’t been considered should they beat Wicklow in their preliminary round game. But Kilkenny’s principal venue, which boasts more seats than the Portlaoise venue, has been preferred for what is likely to be an evening throw-in on Saturday, June 4.

The last time Dublin travelled outside the capital for a championship game was 2006 when they beat Longford in a quarter-final in Pearse Park. Of the current panel, only Stephen Cluxton and Alan Brogan have experienced championship football in a county other than their own.

Speaking to RTÉ before last night’s decision, GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail supported the idea of Dublin playing outside Croke Park.

Meanwhile, Dublin senior hurling manager Ger Cunningham is set to confirm former Newtownshandrum coach Patsy Morrissey as one of his selectors for the 2016 season. Former Dublin hurler Liam Walsh is also set to come on board with Ken Robinson continuing as physical and conditioning coach.

Morrissey, the current Gaelic games development officer in UL, helped guide Newtownshandrum to an All-Ireland title in 2004 and worked alongside Cunningham as a fellow selector to Donal O’Grady and John Allen when Cork captured the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2004 and ‘05. An admired hurler in the capital, Faughs clubman Walsh was voted Dublin hurler of the year in 1998.

Cunningham had to make changes to the panel following the departure of Shay Boland, Gearóid Ó Riain and Ed Coughlan. Former Tipperary coach Tommy Dunne had left the set-up earlier this year due to work commitments.

Elsewhere, the 2015 Galway senior hurling squad have let it be known yet again that they are against Anthony Cunningham continuing as manager next season. The Irish Examiner understands there was a meeting in Athlone’s Shamrock Lodge Hotel last week where the players reiterated their stance.

Along with Dublin, Galway are set to travel to Boston next week to take part in the Super 11s Fenway Park Classic. The game will take place in the Boston Red Sox’ home on Sunday, November 22, in front of an expected 25,000 crowd. It has already been reported Cunningham will be not be part of the party heading Stateside and there is no news as to who will take charge of the Galway players.

Antrim, meanwhile, have appointed PJ O’Mullan as their new senior hurling manager, replacing Kevin Ryan. Kerry will open their Leinster qualifying campaign against Carlow in Tralee on May 1. Wexford’s senior hurlers will enjoy hurling in Croke Park for the first time since 2007 when they play Dublin at GAA HQ on May 29.

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