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Dean Rock hopeful of Championship action in 2020

Six-time All Ireland winner Dean Rock believes GAA players around the country could be back in ac...

Dean Rock hopeful of Champions...

Dean Rock hopeful of Championship action in 2020

Six-time All Ireland winner Dean Rock believes GAA players around the country could be back in action before the end of the year.

The GAA season has been put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic but the Government announced last Friday a road-map to lift restrictions over five phases in the coming months.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar appeared to indicate last week that the All Ireland Senior Championships could be played in 2020 - albeit behind closed doors.

"Barring any blips, hopefully we might be back to some sort of Championship maybe in September or whenever it is," the Dublin star told Today FM's Dermot and Dave.

The Ballymun Kickhams forward added: "I think there's talk of maybe getting the club championship back up and running first to see how it all works.

"If you're back playing football sometime in August whether it be club or county, I think that would probably the best situation we could find ourselves in at the moment."

The message from GAA HQ has been that the club game will be first to restart and then inter county will follow.

Rock can see the reasons for that approach: "If they decided to throw the inter county season on straight away, you might only have three weeks to get ready and prepared for that.

"You need a lot more preparation, you can't just be thrown in at the deep end as such but the club would welcome having their county guys back fresh for once, rather than at the end of the season.

"I think it could work well for both parties, hopefully that's what happens but we'll see what happens."

Dublin had only played five National League games under new manager Dessie Farrell when the season was put on hold.

The All Ireland champions had two wins, two draws and one defeat under the 1995 All Ireland winner.

Rock said the players have embraced the change since Jim Gavin left the role.

"Everyone was getting use to the change and different voices and different personnel around the setup, which was exciting and it was a new sort of challenge and new journey for the team.

"I think everybody was in really good spirits and looking forward to the end of the league and the rest of the championship and unfortunately that was stopped in its tracks.

"It's been a great start to have Dessie around, obviously Dessie would have worked with a lot of the younger guys growing up with underage teams so he would know a huge amount of the lads so the transition has been fairly seamless."

Rock has always been reliable for Dublin with his free-taking having famously kicked the winning point in the 2017 All Ireland final win over Mayo.

The 30-year-old has been able to keep practicing during the lockdown.

"I'm living in Malahide so I'm lucky enough I've got the castle there, the Gaelic pitch up there now so it's ideal for me.

"I'm lucky enough to have something like that on my doorstep really just to practice my frees, there's no netting behind the goal, that's the only problem so I'm getting my running and kicking done in the one."

Rock is also using his free time to help Stewart's Care, a charity supporting 1000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

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