Celbridge senior football manager Dave Clare has called on the Government to allow spectators to return to GAA matches.

He was speaking to RTÉ Sport's John Kenny after his side's 1-13 to 1-05 group win over Round Towers in the Kildare championship, a competition which had resumed again after restrictions on the county were lifted on 1 September. 

Only one round of the Kildare senior football championship had been played prior to lockdown measures being brought in back in August across three counties, a period which saw sporting activities cease.

While the football championship has resumed in Kildare, matches are taking place behind closed doors.

But Clare believes spectators can be accommodated with the protocols put in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

"I was talking to a man the other day and he hadn't missed a Celbridge game for 25 years," he said.

"We've controlled everything else. It's about time the government started trusting us that we can actually deal with it. Let our supporters back in." 

He added that he wants to see "a little bit of common sense" and for the authorities to "give a bit of light at the end of the tunnel".

"Let us prioritise our club members and let us get people back in here. Club members who support us through thick and thin, they need to be here," Clare continued.

"I had to tell four of my squad that they couldn't come here today. Just terrible stuff and they're some of the worst phone calls I made.

"Conor Doyle, I'll namecheck him, got his cruciate done and I had to ring him and tell him, 'No, you can't come, Conor.'"

The Celbridge boss added that the importance of sport is paramount as a means of escapism.

"Football is escapism for all of us, every single one of us, whether you're a supporter, player or a manager like me who roars and shouts," he said.

"We need it. We all absolutely need it. It's where we get an escape from the trials and tribulations of life. Everybody needs that.

"The stop-start nature of it, we just try and control what we can and that's it. We know there is an emphasis on ourselves in relation to how we deal with our Covid (protocols) and the players have bought into that completely."