Thursday 4 June 2015

Five alternative ways to shake up the Leinster Football Championship

Published 21/07/2014 | 13:17

Stephen Cluxton could play in an outfield position to level up the Leinster playing field
Stephen Cluxton could play in an outfield position to level up the Leinster playing field

Dublin are simply unstoppable in Leinster. Meath are the latest to feel the full wrath of the Blue machine at it seems that there is now no hope for the rest of the province any time soon.

Here, we have compiled five new rules that the GAA could implement if Sepp Blatter ever takes the top seat in Croke Park.

Use Stephen Cluxton as an outfield player

The Dubs would still have 15 men on the pitch, but no goalkeeper is allowed. Cluxton fills in at centre back and no defender is allowed inside the square. This, of course, would give Dublin’s opponents a better chance of goals.

And let’s face it, they need it. While the Dubs are scoring goals for fun, they conceded just two in Leinster this year.

Play all of their games outside Croke Park

It’s a recurring argument. It seems everyone outside the Pale is calling for Jim Gavin’s men to play away from home. Except the GAA of course, as they bid to maximise the revenue Dublin generate.

It’s debatable whether playing games outside Croke Park would be that much of a disadvantage for Dublin but with no games at Croke Park, they may well come unstuck along the way.

Four-touch football in the opposition half

Once that ball crosses the halfway line, the Dublin players would be limited to four-touch football. Catch it, solo and catch, then pass. This would stop the direct running from the likes of Michael Darragh Macauley, Paul Flynn and Kevin McMenamon that so often pierces the heart of the opponent’s defence.

Eight-second shot clock rule

Jim Gavin’s men are notorious for the speed of their attacking play but how would they react if they were forced to speed it up even more?

When the ball crosses their own 21-metre line and Dublin have just eight seconds to attempt a shot on goal, maybe their free-flowing attacking football would be replaced by panic and mis-placed passes.

One point for a goal

The Dubs are goal hungry. Every chance they get, they will try orchestrate an opportunity to hit the back of the net.

In this year’s National League campaign, Kerry, Mayo and Tyrone would all have seen off the Boys in Blue if Dublin’s goals only registered as one point.

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