The Roscommon footballer says his team just have to get on with it
St Brigid's clubman Karol Mannion admitted it is frustrating that his side are forced to play home fixtures away from Dr Hyde Park, but insists it is up to them to 'just get on with it'.
Despite being entitled to home advantage against Corofin, they are forced to play away from home due to the fact that Dr Hyde Park is currently undergoing renovations. The Connacht final will now instead be held in the Carrick-on-Shannon venue, Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.
The Connacht Council ruled five years ago that clubs could not host games in provincial competitions at their own grounds.
"It is slightly [frustrating] I suppose," Mannion admitted. "Without trying to sound annoyed about it, when the rule was brought in, it only impacted three clubs in Connacht: ourselves, Ballina and Sean Ó’Heslins in Ballinamore.
"We were the only team contesting Connacht titles at the time so it felt like - that a club team can’t play at their own ground - that it was brought in for us. We had won two Connacht titles at that stage, we had beaten Corofin in Kiltoom and the rule was brought in the following year.
"So, at the time, yeah it felt like it was annoying because it felt like it was a rule just for us. It was annoying at the time. Since then, we’ve just got on with it. We played Ballina in Ballina in ‘07, it was the way it was. That was the rule. We just went down there and played them and got on with it.
"I’d like to play in Roscommon, it’s just a pity that Dr. Hyde Park is out of commission. It’s just where we are now. We’ve played in Carrick against Leitrim clubs. Frankie might have made that decision that when that venue is because if we won we’d be back there in a final with Corofin. We wouldn’t have had the option if we had played Castlebar."
Dr Hyde Park is currently undergoing rennovations. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie
Ahead of the game, he also conceded that there was just reason for St Brigid's wearing the underdog tag against the Galway side.
"I suppose you can’t really say the All-Ireland winning team of 2013 with St Brigid's will be playing Sunday. From what the team might line up as, you might only have seven starting. The last day we played Corofin we might have only have had eight starting. It is a different team when you talk about getting to this level.
"Possibly within Roscommon, people will see it as the same team, but outside we still are a relatively new team. Our success at All-Ireland level was a lot further back than Corofin. Corofin, now, have had a year off and generally speaking in the first couple of years after you win the All-Ireland, the momentum and the bunch of players sticking together will be enough to get you back to that level.
"We’re not back at that level yet, while Corofin are. That’s why we’re not as fancied, I can see why. We have to prove the next day that we’re at that level."