Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Keep Croker open

Why not? Just for the games when capacity requires it.

Technically, neither the IRFU nor the FAI will require Croke Park once Lansdowne Road is redeveloped but with such a huge capacity differential between the two stadiums there's a clear logic in continuing the current arrangement for major games.

Full article.

Carr says anti-Ulster agenda inspired changes

Ross Carr agrees:

Carr believes that overuse of the handpass leads to scrum-type situations on the field and he stated: "It's the handpass that needs to be looked at. The amount of handpassing is creating the problems and the one thing we can't do is take the physical confrontation out of Gaelic football.

Full story.

All-Ireland fixture change will leave teams facing five games in month

You know what this means for club footballers--if their county progresses in the qualifiers they can kiss playing football in the summer goodbye yet again. Croke Park likes to say it's forcing action on "meaningful programme of games" for club footballers but they don't really mean it. It's just blah, blah for the annual report and strategy documents.

A change to the timing of the All-Ireland football quarter-finals, combined with the return of Division 4 teams to the qualifiers, could leave some counties facing an unprecedented fixtures congestion problem this summer.

A county that progresses from the first round of the qualifiers to the All-Ireland quarter-finals will face five games in a month, between July 4 and the first weekend in August.

Full article.

Cusack's GAA vision just the tonic as reality bites

Martin mentions, but doesn't elaborate, on how exactly "the last 10-15 years undid some of the good" in the GAA. I know where I'd start...

The GAA has been an integral part of an Ireland that has changed beyond recognition over the years. Most of it was for the better, although the less savoury sides of Irish life over the last 10-15 years undid some of the good.

Ireland is now facing a new reality, one where if you believed the pessimists you wouldn't get up in the morning. It's at a time like this that the GAA can play a crucial role in lifting the nation's spirit, just as it has done over many years.

Full article.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Meath v Cork: Not a dirty game and well refereed

Maybe the Meath team of the '80's weren't such a dirty team afterall! What Gaelic football really needs is a rule limiting the number of consecutive handpasses not messing around with yellow cards.

FOR A GAME that gained a reputation for being ill-tempered, both McEnaney and Reilly agreed - while there was a certain amount of niggle - it was far from dirty. Indeed, aside from the aforementioned bookings, half of the starting 30 players emerged without so much as a ticking.

The free count at full-time was 57 - one every 72 seconds. Because frees were all taken from the ground, this slowed the game down a great deal. Every time a foul was committed it would take around 10 seconds at least before the match was under way again.
It's worth bearing in mind that 43 frees were awarded in the 2008 final, but 58 in 2007...

Aside from the disciplinary aspect of the match, there was one glaring difference between the style of football then and now. In the 2008 All-Ireland final, Tyrone and Kerry between them hand-passed the ball 205 times - a quite astonishing tally. Tyrone accounted for 110 of this total, but Kerry, known for a direct style, came not far behind on 95.

Contrast this to 1988, when Meath and Cork used the fisted pass a grand total of 73 times, with Meath - as if to underline their catch-and-kick approach - accounting for just 23 of that total. It's an amazing comparison and an interesting insight into the way the game has changed over the years.

Full article.

Fears allayed as new rules get thumbs-up

Surely it's too early to pass any judgement. Was there still physical contact? If these new rules result in the elimination of physical strength and a good hard shoulder then Gaelic Games will be the poorer for it.

DESPITE the 80 yellow cards that were flashed on the first weekend of the season, GAA officials yesterday declared the introduction of their experimental new disciplinary rules as a great success.

Full story.

GAA must resolve to stop rot of lies and deception

Hear, hear!

The continual refusal of managers and other team officers to admit to players' transgressions, the perceived obstinate stands taken by county boards and other bodies when justice is required to be dispensed and the almost indecent haste with which those who feel they have been 'victimised' have recourse to all manner of appeals and hearings committees is, at best, indicative of intransigence and, at worst, a serious blemish on the image of the GAA as a whole.

Full story.

Coney quits Swans

The traffic is not all one way!

OPPONENTS of the International Rules series were given a major boost last night when Tyrone teenage sensation Kyle Coney confirmed he was turning down a two-year contract with Sydney Swans...

"It was a once in a lifetime offer to travel to Australia and I had to go and see what it was like but the lure of coming back to play for Ardboe and Tyrone was just too much in the end."

Full Story