Friday 18 October 2019

Jim Gavin warns that gaelic football is 'just one rule change away from becoming Aussie Rules'

Dublin selector Jason Sherlock and manager Jim Gavin. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Dublin selector Jason Sherlock and manager Jim Gavin. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Conor McKeon

JIM GAVIN has warned that gaelic football is “just one rule change away from becoming Australian Rules” if the experimental playing rules used during this year’ Allianz Leagues are adopted on a permanent basis.

The Dublin manager also suggested the GAA had been “disrespectful” to players, supporters and sponsors of the competition by using the League to trial the rules.

“I thought myself it’s not the right way to do it,” Gavin stressed.

“You don’t see experimental rules in the qualifiers for the European Championship games next summer.

“You didn’t see them in the Six Nations or the Autumn Series getting ready for the (rugby) World Cup.

“So I don’t see why the GAA should use its second competition to experiment with rules. If you want to make a rule change, fine. Get on with it then. Don’t be disrespectful to players.

“Don’t be disrespectful to supporters and in some way sponsors as well, by using the secondary competition to experiment.”

Gavin reiterated that Dublin had not used any of the trial provisions in training, pointing out that his panel contained “the players to exploit” the rules had they deemed it worthwhile.

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“If we’re going to play the (offensive) mark in the Championship, we would have put a lot of work into it. But we ain’t.

“We have the players who are well able to win their own ball, with whatever defensive cover teams have. And they’re well able to shoot. That’s one thing for sure.

“We’re very fortunate to have naturally skilful forwards. So in some ways it would suit us.

“If there is a rule change, fine. Get on with it. We don’t dictate what they should be.

“But to use our secondary competition as an experiment, I don’t think that’s the right way to go.”

Gavin was a proponent of the sin bin when the black card was originally introduced in 2014 although he was reluctant to endorse any of the other experimental rules.

Dublin scored 0-10 directly from offensive marks in their seven Division games: Dean Rock and Paul Mannion scored three each with Cormac Costello, Paddy Andrews, Niall Scully and Ciarán Kilkenny getting one apiece. They conceded 0-9 from marks.

“You saw it out there (against Cavan last Sunday), fellas diving to catch the ball inside the ‘45’,” Gavin pointed out. “If you do that in Championship, you’re going to get run over when you get up.

“What I will be interested to see is what the analysis made of it, both qualitative and quantitative on the games that have been played. And ultimately the rationale of why we’ve had these changes.

“What’s the reason from the GAA’s leadership? How do they see it progressing?”

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