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'I don't think managers should have a soap box to change them either way' - Jim Gavin speaks out on hand-pass rule

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Dublin Manager Jim Gavin. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Dublin Manager Jim Gavin. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Dublin Manager Jim Gavin. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Dublin boss Jim Gavin has broken ranks with the general inter-county manager consensus and argued that the controversial hand-pass rule should have been retained for the league and championship.

Speaking about the rule changes to RTE after Dublin’s opening weekend defeat to Monaghan in Clones, Gavin said: "I've no issue with them at all. I probably would have suggested to just get on with it and put them in (for the league).

"If the governing body decides to change the rules of the game I don't think managers should have a soap box to change them either way.

"I made my feelings known on behalf of the team to the county board and they then represented the county of Dublin. From my perspective, I've no issue with them."

The hand-pass rule in particular was the subject of relentless criticism during the pre-season tournaments with managers such as Tyrone’s Mickey Harte, Galway's Kevin Walsh and Mayo’s James Horan all speaking out against it.

Although the GAA have denied that the management reaction played any part in their thinking, the rule limiting consecutive hand-passes to three was abandoned before the start of the league.

However, Gavin believes that the rules should have been given the opportunity to remain in place through the season.   

"The only thing I would have said is maybe just get on with it and have the rules in for the championship," he continued.

"Some of our players have to go back and play Sigerson competition on Wednesday and then play with a different set of rules with club fixtures in the coming weeks. It's a little bit confusing for them."

The Dubs were beaten by an impressive Monaghan in the league for the second season in a row in their first outing of the year after an experimental squad under selector Paul Clarke competed in the O’Byrne Cup.

But Gavin wasn’t offering the lack of game time for his squad as an excuse as he looked forward to next week.

"Overall Monaghan fully deserved the win. They're always strong this time of year and they carry that strength right throughout the championship," he said.

"Two black cards went against us. That's the way the game goes. It was a great challenge for our guys.

"That game today is worth a couple of weeks in training. Now we focus on a really tough game against Galway next weekend."   

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