Tuesday 12 December 2017

Refs need to be semi-pro to carry out 'impossible job' – James Horan

Mayo manager James Horan believes the additional burdens being placed on referees is making it difficult for them to carry out their functions. Photo: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
Mayo manager James Horan believes the additional burdens being placed on referees is making it difficult for them to carry out their functions. Photo: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

John Fallon

Mayo manager James Horan has called for GAA referees to become semi-professional in an effort to ensure that new rules are implemented properly.

Horan said last night that referees are being burdened with more and more duties and that it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to carry out their functions.

"Refs in Gaelic football, I just think it's insane what we expect them to do. It's probably one of the biggest fields in a field sport, with 30 players, and they do timing, they do everything and we're throwing more rules or officialdom on top of what they're already trying to do.

"I just think it's becoming an impossible job for one man to consistently, at a high level, with the pace the game is now, to stay on top. It's just getting impossible for refs.

"I think refs need to be at a semi-professional level. They need to be brought in once a week and maybe do two or three days' camp after all inter-county games to get a consistency and breed a level of competency there and take all the debate out of it," added Horan, who added that he is favour of the black card provided referees implement it consistently.

CONTENTION

Meanwhile, Horan has not ruled former Connacht rugby captain Gavin Duffy out of featuring against Roscommon in the Connacht championship on Sunday week.

Horan said that Duffy is training a few times a day to help him adjust from being a professional rugby player to a Gaelic footballer.

It is unlikely that Duffy will feature in a Mayo jersey for some time, but Horan said last night that every player in the squad was in contention for a place in the Connacht semi-final on Sunday week.

"From a skill point of view, he is working hard on his handpassing. Simple little things like that can be the most difficult," said Horan.

"His kicking is actually quite good, and kicking is one thing you'd think he would struggle, but the kicking is very strong.

"He is training a couple of times a day trying to catch up. If you are kicking a couple of hundred balls a day, your timing and technique will improve quickly."

Barry Moran and Jason Gibbons are both extremely doubtful for the clash with Roscommon, but Michael Conroy and Enda Varley are well on the way to shrugging off minor knocks.

Horan also revealed that goalkeeper David Clarke played for Ballina Stephenites last weekend and is back in contention, but Shane McHale is still a few weeks away from returning to action.

Irish Independent

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