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'I hope to god there is leadership shown' - Tomás Ó Sé calls on GAA to scrap 'absolutely ludicrous' advanced mark

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Paul Mannion of Dublin calls for a mark during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 1 match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Paul Mannion of Dublin calls for a mark during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 1 match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Paul Mannion of Dublin calls for a mark during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 1 match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Tomás Ó Sé has branded the advanced mark 'absolutely ludicrous' and has called on the GAA to scrap the new rule after one weekend of National League action

A number of rule changes were voted through last autumn, with the advanced mark - where a player has the option of calling a mark if a clean catch is made from a ball that has been kicked from outside the 45m line, provided it has travelled at least 20m - proving the most controversial.

There were a number of high-profile critics of the new rule, which was also trialled in the 2019 National League, with Dublin star Jack McCaffrey one of many who expressed their reservations.

And now after the opening weekend of National League action, Tomás Ó Sé says he has already seen enough.

"I still believe fundamentally that it is absolutely ludicrous to bring this in," Ó Sé said on The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast.

"There were a lot more marks scored last weekend than I thought there would be and this is still when teams are yet to get their teeth into it. You are totally changing the game. You are giving a free for catching a ball. Michael Murphy caught a ball and the back was three or four yards off him.

"People are saying there are only three or four marks in a game but wait until teams come around on this. And I don't know what genius came up with the idea that when a player catches a ball he can't be tackled for four steps. So if he catches the ball on the 13-yard line, imagine telling a defender he can't touch him for four steps?"

Ó Sé thinks that while the mark was originally brought in to combat defensive football, that issue is no longer as prevalent and feels that the GAA would be best to scrap the new rule.

"I hope to god there is leadership shown here," he added.

"It was brought in to deal with defensive stuff, but when was that defensive stuff? The Dubs taught the rest of us how to beat the Donegal and Tyrone-style teams.

"Why is the mark to be brought in now? There was enough kicking in the game the other night. I don't think defensive football and hand-passing is the blight it was."

Another rule change that was voted in was the introduction of a ten-minute sin-bin for a player who receives a black card. On this, Ó Sé is more positive, highlighting the advantage Kerry and Dublin got during opposition sin-bin periods as a worthy deterrent for cynical play.

"On the black card, I thought Kerry were cute enough when Eric Lowndes was off," he said.

"Paul Murphy kicked two points and he was the spare man. I like the fact that for a black card now, you are hurt. It was the Graham O'Sullivan one that changed the game, Dublin were three points down when he went off.

"You will have teams who will eat into the time. I was keeping an eye on it. The Dubs went down twice when Eric Lowndes was off. There are other ways, I don't know how much time you have officially to take a free but you would be telling your players to slow things down."

Online Editors