Saturday 21 April 2018

Rules body to seek approval for 'mark'

Justin McCarthy has joined the Antrim backroom team
Justin McCarthy has joined the Antrim backroom team
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA's third-level competitions may be the first port of call for a new Gaelic football 'mark' if a proposal to introduce it is accepted by Central Council tomorrow.

The GAA's Standing Rules Committee will bring up to four proposals to the meeting for approval to trial in 2016.

And instead of pre-season competitions like the O'Byrne and McGrath Cups they may look to the Sigerson and Trench Cups for exposure.

The 'mark' would allow a player who catches a kick-out cleanly between the two 45-metre lines a free-kick. The chairman of the committee, Jarlath Burns, has long been an advocate of such an advantage. Incorporating time required for substitutions into extra-time will also be proposed.

Meanwhile, new Antrim hurling manager PJ O'Mullan has described the addition of Justin McCarthy to the backroom team as a "major coup".

McCarthy has agreed to join O'Mullan in trying to lift the gloom after the county dropped out of the MacCarthy Cup last summer.

"Anybody that knows anything about hurling, you are talking about sheer greatness. Justin came up in 1970, 1971, the first southerner to come up north and train a team. He was successful and Antrim won an All-Ireland intermediate title," recalled O'Mullan.

"We met in Dublin and spent hours going through the whole thing with him. He was delighted to be coming on board. I think it is a major coup for Antrim hurling."

In Cork, Peadar Healy's efforts to bring Castlehaven coach James McCarthy on to his backroom team appear to have been thwarted. McCarthy is a games development administrator with Cork GAA and required special clearance to become involved with a county team. However, that looks unlikely.

Paul Galvin has admitted it is "unlikely" that he will play for Kerry again. Galvin, who came out of retirement earlier this year, told Newstalk's Off The Ball last night that he would speak with manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice first before confirming his decision.

Irish Independent

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