Any Championship better than none - Byrne

The second extension of the crowd limit of 200 for club matches has increased fears the inter-county competitions could be played behind closed doors when they commence in October.
Any Championship better than none - Byrne

Dublin defender Davy Byrne believes Championship without supporters is better than no competition taking place at all.

The second extension of the crowd limit of 200 for club matches has increased fears the inter-county competitions could be played behind closed doors when they commence in October.

Speaking at the launch of the AIG Golf Cups and Shields, Byrne wants the Championship to go ahead regardless of whether there are spectators.

“It's been great to be back playing club games and getting back out there. It feels like a bit of normality setting in. Would you rather there were more crowds in Croke Park for an inter-county game? Of course. But I think something is better than nothing. I'm just happy to play a game at this stage, whatever the case may be.

“I think every player would surely say they'd rather play than not play at all. But, I suppose, health and safety has to be the most important thing here. There's no place for taking unnecessary risks.”

Byrne, who lined out for Naomh Olaf in their Dublin senior 2 championship defeat to Cuala on Wednesday, is full aware of the risks that would be attached to playing in the winter when dressing rooms would likely have to be used.

“You have to respect everyone's individual decision as a player. If a player decides they don't want to come back, then that's reasonable. From my own perspective, that's a risk I'd be willing to take. But I suppose you do put yourself a little bit at risk when playing these games. It'll be taking the attitude of following whatever guidance is out there. If the GAA are saying it's safe to come back and play, then we'll play.”

As a full-back, Byrne reckons he will have to contest more aerial challenges to prevent forward claiming advanced marks.

“It’s another added dynamic to the game. From a full-back’s perspective, the advanced mark probably affects us a good bit but you probably have to adapt to it a little bit no different to when the kick-out mark came in and try and make the most of whatever rules are there.

“You probably need to be a bit more aggressive at times. You can’t be let your man win an easy ball because he has a shot on goal straight away so you just need to contest a bit more in there, which is what we always tried to do."

AIG yesterday launched this year’s AIG Cups & Shields at the GUI National Golf Academy. AIG Insurance is offering exclusive discounts to GUI and ILGU members. 

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