Sunday 24 September 2017

Jim Gavin queries 'logic' behind referee's league final appointment

'We should have got the penalty' claims Dubs boss

Paddy Neilan was put in charge of the Division 1 final clash between Gavin’s Dubs and Kerry, despite not having taken charge of a top-flight game in the spring. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Paddy Neilan was put in charge of the Division 1 final clash between Gavin’s Dubs and Kerry, despite not having taken charge of a top-flight game in the spring. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Jim Gavin has questioned the 'logic' surrounding the appointment of referees in the GAA, insisting Croke Park chiefs were 'unfair' to hand Roscommon referee Paddy Neilan last month's league final.

Neilan was put in charge of the Division 1 final clash between Gavin's Dubs and Kerry, the build-up to which was marked by inflammatory comments, despite not having taken charge of a top-flight game in the spring.

Gavin claimed that Dublin should have been given a penalty late on in the game that Kerry won by a point, stating Neilan's decision not to award the spot-kick came down to 'inexperience'.

"(We) should probably have got that penalty call that wasn't given, and (that) probably a reflection maybe of a very good but inexperienced referee being in that cauldron and not giving it," said Gavin, who will remain in charge of the Dubs until the end of the 2019 campaign.

Neilan had taken charge of two Division 2 games and one Division 3 match before the league decider.

Read more: Jim Gavin agrees two year extension to remain in charge of Dublin until end of 2019 championship

In 2016, he took charge of a single Division 1 game and did not feature beyond Round 4 of the qualifiers in the championship. And Gavin wants a better system to expose emerging referees to top-level games.

"He's an excellent referee. As was the referee we had from Tyrone (Sean Hurson) down in Tralee. But you would have to certainly question the logic behind exposing a referee with that experience in those high-pressure games.

"I don't think it's fair on them, and there's too much work being put in on both sets (of players) that games either, one, get out of control or, secondly, that decisions like that (penalty) call go against you.

"You certainly have to question (the decision), from Croke Park's perspective … I can't answer those questions.

"We have a lot of experienced referees out there and I think there should be a better methodology of giving our top-class up-and-coming referees exposure, not at the deep end, in the high-profile games, but in a more measured way."

Irish Independent

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