Conal Keaney: "It seems to me that Croke Park are just looking to make as much money as they can"

He hit out at the decision to play Dublin-Tipperary in Thurles

Conal Keaney: "It seems to me that Croke Park are just looking to make as much money as they can"

Westmeath’s Gary Greville blocks down Tipperary’s Aidan McCormack. Image: ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

Former Dublin hurler Conal Keaney has hit out at the decision to host the All-Ireland qualifier match between Dublin and Tipperary at Semple Stadium.

Speaking to Newstalk Sport's Oisin Langan about the decision he said: "I think before the draw it was widely known that it was going to be a neutral venue and then when you draw Tipperary and you have to play them in Thurles  - it's a big task for this Dublin team against Tipperary anyway, and then, to ask them to go and play them in the 'home of hurling' as they call it themselves - it's going to be a massive challenge."

Keaney went on to dispel the notion that somehow the venue can be perceived as a neutral location saying: "I don't really get it. Tipperary get to train there every night of the week. It is a massive advantage having it in Thurles for this Tipperary team and it was a tough ask for Westmeath to go down there the last day. Tipperary always seem to get the rub of the green when it comes to the venue.

"I know people are going to say the opposite for when the Dublin footballers always get to play in Croke Park but it's not the Dublin footballers fault - they don't always want to play at Croke Park. Some teams just give up home advantage to play there. 

Tipperary’s Michael Breen and Westmeath’s Aaron Craig. Image: ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

"It's Croke Park themselves making the decision. It seems to me that Croke Park are just looking to make as much money as they can all the time. It's not good for Dublin hurling.

"They won't get every single Dublin hurling fan going down to Thurles while if it was in Portlaoise or Tullamore or even in Nolan Park - everyone would have been on the road for that. 

"It doesn't help them (Dublin) at all. Even though as a player, you're trying to take that out of your mind and say 'let's go down and beat them and if we beat them down there, won't it be sweeter?' But, when you're outside of it now and looking in, it's a huge task for this Dublin team," he added.

The full interview can be heard here: