“You’re going to Aughrim or you’re going to Wexford Park.”
Wicklow manager Davy Burke wants to see Dublin out of Croke Park for their Leinster quarter-final and forced to travel to Wicklow or Wexford as opposed to another neutral venue.
Burke was speaking after Wicklow were drawn against Wexford in the first round of Leinster, with the winners facing the unenviable task of taking on All-Ireland champions Dublin.
However, the Wicklow boss believes Leinster’s closed-shop format denies counties like Wicklow the chance of potentially getting to a provincial semi-final.
“Obviously, Wexford up first, that’s a 50/50 game again but wouldn’t it be brilliant if the winners of that could have drawn the winners of Louth or Offaly? Then you have one of those teams in the Leinster semi-final,” Burke told the Irish Independent.
“And then, who knows? I’m sure Offaly have hopes to be a Division 2 team by then. Wicklow have hopes to be a Division 2 team by then.
“And sure, Division 2 – that’s where Kildare and Meath are. So if any of us has hopes of going up, we should be competing with Kildare or Meath.”
The 2021 championship will follow the same straight knockout format as last year’s, leaving Wicklow with very little chance of progression beyond the Leinster quarter-final.
Nevertheless, Burke would like to see Dublin out of Croke Park and forced to travel to Wexford or Wicklow, and not just another neutral venue in the province.
“It should be in Wexford Park or Aughrim,” Burke continued.
“Let’s be honest about it. There is no crowds, so there’s no issue with ticketing or any of that. RTE can come to either of those grounds no problem.
“If the GAA are serious about progress and trying to develop the smaller counties, that game should be non-negotiable: you’re going to Aughrim or you’re going to Wexford Park.
“And the Dubs will tell you – they’ll play you anywhere. They don’t give a toss. Why would you bring them and us or them and Wexford to Portlaoise or Carlow? Why would you?
“Give the team in Division 3 or 4 a better chance. OK, you’re not likely to beat them. But why not at least try and make it interesting?”
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