Monday 25 September 2017

Who will be first GAA star to try a Panenka?

The Sunday Game returns to our screens this weekend with live coverage of Tyrone v Down at Healy Park.
The Sunday Game returns to our screens this weekend with live coverage of Tyrone v Down at Healy Park.

Colm Parkinson

It's great to have 'The Sunday Game' back. Having been on sideline duty in Derry for 'Off The Ball's' live game on Sunday, I was anxious to get home to see the highlights of the hurling as well as Saturday night's Tyrone-Down replay.

On Sunday night, we also got the added bonus of a lesson in modern penalty taking from Kevin McStay. Those watching might have been a little confused by McStay's analysis. It included arrows, mentions of power and placement, placement and power, and even a beer barrel reference.

What he didn't mention was that since the penalty was moved into 11 metres, most goalkeepers are trying to predict the side the penalty will go and diving just before the ball is kicked – like soccer. Reaction time has been reduced, so they have no choice but to guess.

Penalties are now a game of cat and mouse. On Saturday night, Aidan Carr thought Niall Morgan would dive and drove the ball straight down the middle. Morgan read him and stayed where he was, saving comfortably.

Of course, Morgan would have looked foolish had Carr gone for either side, but certainly penalties are much more exciting now.

With that in mind, who's going to be the first Gaelic football player to try a Panenka chip down the middle? Brolly and Spillane's reaction, if it went wrong, would be priceless.

Irish Independent

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