Thursday 16 August 2018

'Maybe there's an objective to sanitise the game of Gaelic football' - Jim Gavin slams Fitzsimons decision

Mick Fitzsimons and (inset) Jim Gavin and Jason Sherlock watch on against Kerry
Mick Fitzsimons and (inset) Jim Gavin and Jason Sherlock watch on against Kerry
Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Jim Gavin has expressed concern about the dilution of physicality in Gaelic football as he hit out at the one-match ban picked up by defender Mick Fitzsimons for his red card against Mayo in the previous round of the league.

Fitzsimons failed in his bid to have the red card overturned at a Central Hearings Committee (CHC) on Thursday night. Gavin said that to say he was surprised at the decision was an "understatement".

Describing the decision to send off Fitzsimons as "bizarre" the four-time All-Ireland winning manager felt footage presented to the CHC conclusively showed that it wasn't dangerous play from the defender as he moved in to block Aidan O'Shea, taking him down in the process.

"We had footage from eir sports, great footage, to show conclusively that it wasn't dangerous play," said Gavin.

"It was deemed that we didn't conclusively demonstrate that.

"I can't speak on their behalf," said Gavin of the CHC. "We've just got a report back, official correspondence to the County Board, and the officers showed me that it wasn't accepted. It was bizarre. James McCarthy took a big hit in the opening of the second-half and he got up, no drama. You want physicality in the game and if a player commits to the tackle, times it - you want to keep that in our games.

"Maybe there's an objective to sanitise the game of Gaelic football. I look at the hurling fraternity and they've kept the physicality in their game - so we just need to be mindful of that."

Gavin said they are considering taking the case to the next stage, the Central Appeals Committee (CAC).

Meanwhile, Gavin reported that Diarmuid Connolly was being "rested" for the Kerry game despite only making his seasonal comeback as a substitute against Mayo two weeks earlier. He only played 190 minutes for Dublin last year and has seen just 26 minutes this season.

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Irish Independent

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