Former Dublin star Bernard Brogan has spoken out against opposition to playing GAA matches behind closed doors, saying most players would love the opportunity to play at all.
Brogan won seven All-Ireland titles, 13 Leinster medals, four All-Stars and was named Footballer of the Year in 2010. He announced his inter-county retirement last October, having been an unused sub in the All-Ireland final replay win over Kerry.
The St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh clubman aired his views on the matter on his Twitter today, saying he is baffled by anyone who would suggest delaying a return to matches until a crowd can be present.
"This playing behind closed doors debate is baffling me! Fans are obviously amazing and I loved every drop of atmosphere they created but I would take your hand off to represent my county again, spectators or not! We play because we love the game end of, Am I missing something?"
This playing behind closed doors debate is baffling me! Fans are obviously amazing and I loved every drop of atmosphere they created but I would take your hand off to represent my county again, spectators or not! We play because we love the game end of, Am I missing something?
— Bernard Brogan (@bernardbrogan) May 22, 2020
Brogan's views are in contrast to those of the GAA themselves, who have said there will be no action before October, and that they have no appetite for any games behind closed doors.
A statement from the Association earlier this month confirmed their reluctance to host games with no fans in attendance.
"The GAA still firmly hopes to be able to play county and club competitions this year, subject of course to public health guidance. We can confirm however that no inter-county games are expected to take place before October.
"Counties are asked, in the interest of players, to suspend all inter-county training until further notice. There will be a phased resumption of training at both club and county level to allow players to prepare appropriately for playing games.
"While not categorically ruling out the possible staging of games behind closed doors later in the year, there appears to be a lack of appetite for this type of fixture-scheduling at the current time across the wider Association."
Meanwhile, a survey earlier this month showed just just 57 per cent of club players would be happy to go back to training before a vaccine against the coronavirus is found.
Brogan's retirement from the county game last year came after an illustrious career in the Dublin jersey - a career that included scoring both goals in a Man-of-the-Match performance in their win over Mayo in the 2013 All-Ireland final.