Monday 19 February 2018

Kettle claims sideline bans could cause stand solution to boil over

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

DUBLIN chairman Andy Kettle believes the GAA's new regulations regarding numbers on the sideline could be a "recipe for disaster".

A maximum of five back-room staff will be allowed pitchside for this year's league and championship campaign as the association look to clamp down on sideline incidents.

The manager, a selector, a medic and two water/hurley carriers will be pitchside from the start of the league, which could see some members of the team confined to the stands.

Kettle (below) believes some county grounds won't have the proper facilities to accommodate the new regulations and he expects some debate on the issue at Saturday's Central Council meeting.

"With the exception of Croke Park, there are very few grounds that have the facility to take the crews management have up in the stand," Kettle insisted. "The way most county grounds are done at the moment is that there are a number of seats in the stand cordoned off – but they are not really cordoned off.

"There is just maybe a bar around them and they are surrounded by spectators of both teams. I wouldn't like to see a situation where a player is sent off for a reasonably contentious issue on the pitch and having to go up and sit surrounded by spectators of the opposition team. I think it is a recipe for disaster.

"I have had communication from other county chairs, expressing unease. The original proposal was for more but it was reduced to five.

"The water one would be a semi-concern, it is no concern at this time of year, but at the height of summer my understanding was that medical advice indicated four were needed. Now has medical advice changed or what is the story going to be there?"

Central Council are also expected to vote on the new structure for the hurling championship from 2014 this weekend. There are two proposals on the table – one from the Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC) that would see the number of teams for Liam MacCarthy reduced to 13 by 2016.

The other, from the Hurling Development Committee, would see five teams in both the Munster and Leinster championships with games played on a home and away basis.

Kettle also confirmed that they could move Friday's Walsh Cup clash between Dublin and UCD away from Parnell Park. As it stands the county's footballers and hurlers are due to play at the Donnycarney venue within 24 hours of each other, but the weather may force a rethink.

Irish Independent

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