Thursday 27 October 2016

GAA verbals are more intense than AFL, says Quinn

Published 22/05/2015 | 02:30

Quinn: Australian experience
Quinn: Australian experience

Longford footballer Michael Quinn believes verbal abuse is even more cutting on a Gaelic football field than it is in AFL.

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The former Essendon player admitted he had to listen to a lot of taunts from opponents during his time there.

But he feels the smaller pool that GAA teams dip into ensures that more is known about players and that knowledge is too often exploited.

"There was a good bit in the AFL but it's probably more so here because guys know more," he said at an event yesterday to promote next week's Leinster SFC quarter-final against Dublin.

"It's such a small community in the GAA that guys know more about personal matters or what's going on off the field and that's brought into it. It's not a nice part of the game."

Quinn said the nature of the taunts he got in AFL often made him laugh. "I'd be called 'milk bottle' or 'pasty'. I was quite happy with that. I'd prefer to be called that than be going around with sunburn!

"You do get it a bit but you kind of laugh it off. It's fairly innocent stuff when they're targeting that side of things," he said.

But he accepted it "would probably get more intense" in Gaelic football.

"You'd laugh that stuff off a bit more easily. But it's tough too. If a game isn't going your way, it's very easy to react. That's what they're trying to do with the 'sledging', they're trying to get a reaction. If you don't react, you'd hope that it would die out."

Quinn feels the '50-metre penalty,' where a free is moved up that distance in AFL for any delaying or dissent shown towards an officials works well in AFL and has advocated a similar rule in Gaelic games.

Two years ago the GAA Congress rejected a proposal from the Football Review Committee to bring forward a free by 30 metres in that instance. Referees do have the option of bringing forward a ball by 10 metres but some elect to impose greater increases themselves.

Quinn doesn't believe 'sledging' is coached in Gaelic games or in AFL."I've seen it through the years that some players or managers or coaches would say, 'Get into his head'.

"But I think it's more of a personal thing. Some players are good at it and can do it. With other players it takes away from their own game and puts them off. It depends on match-ups. It's usually the best players that are targeted."

Irish Independent

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