Eoin Murphy asks very real question of Croke Park pitch policy 2 years ago

Eoin Murphy asks very real question of Croke Park pitch policy

Westmeath club Multyfarnham were in the All-Ireland junior club football final last February.

So the week before the game, they visited Croke Park to sample the atmosphere, to get a feel for the place, to familiarise themselves with the pitch and the stadium in which they'd be playing the biggest game of their lives the following week.

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And it was some experience too.

The stands were touching the sky and the dressing rooms were a far cry from the ones in Westmeath.

All that was left was to stride out onto the hallowed turf and ping a few balls across the pitch to really make a day of it. But they weren't allowed. The pitch was guarded by a fence and Croke Park were strict about not letting the lads out onto the pitch.

As if they were going to cut the whole thing up or something.

The same went for Kilkenny hurling club, Glenmore before their All-Ireland junior hurling final against Derry champions Eoghan Rua in 2016. Tour of the outskirts but no pucks on the pitch.

It's almost that time of the GAA season again now. We're just over two months away from the junior and intermediate club finals in Croke Park and it will be even sooner when the teams left standing are journeying to Drumcondra from down or up the country to get their look at Croker.

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We contacted Croke Park on Tuesday morning to see if the no entrance to the pitch policy for the last few years will still be in operation, but were unable to get through.

Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy was part of the Glenmore team two years ago, and watching all the obstacles, ramps and tonne-weighing barricades panned out on the Croke Park surface for the Ireland's Fittest Family final last Sunday got him thinking.

"Yet they leave this shite go on."

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This isn't the first and it probably won't be the last time that the Croke Park pitch holds up crowds, stages or objects heavier, and undoubtedly more damaging than a few club players looking for a kick or a puck.

Let's have a look at some potentially, more upsetting activities the pitch has come through down through the years.

Here was the scene in June 2011 - peak Championship season, mind, after a Take That concert.

June 2011

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July 2017

Before a U2 concert and after last year's Leinster football final.

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July 2009

Heck, those club players must be some messers.