Wednesday 26 April 2017

Case strengthens for football reboot

Passing game: bring back the boot. Stock Photo
Passing game: bring back the boot. Stock Photo
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

For some curious reason, the infiltration of incessant handpassing into Gaelic football doesn't appear to bother the GAA's legislators, but my experience from writing about it here is that an increasing number of people believe it's a blight that needs to be addressed urgently.

Reaction is almost always along the lines of 'I'm not enjoying watching the game anymore' and 'why is nothing being done about all the handpassing?'

One response I received after last week's column stands out as a perfect example. It came from a former inter-county player, with vast coaching experience in a very successful club and paints a worrying picture of modern trends.

He knows his deeply-held conviction that kick-passing should take precedent over handpassing, not just to improve the game as a spectacle but also to increase the enjoyment for players, is not shared by many in the coaching community but remains convinced the principle is worth fighting for.

He feels strongly that apart from improving the spectacle, foot-passing adds greatly to the enjoyment for players.

"I say we do not need to do endless handpass drills in training just because they are easy to think up, easy to get players moving and keeping warm.

"These only encourage a short-sighted approach to playing in an actual game and limit the great enjoyment of having delivered an accurate and effective 40-yard kick pass to a colleague, creating a score or scoring opportunity in the process.

"I hope that somehow, someday and hopefully not too long in the future the game's administrators will see sense and bring about 'facilitating structures' that can get the BOOT back into our great game and bring back excitement to the game we all love."

Amen to that.

Irish Independent

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