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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019

Gaelic football should be called 'fistball' and the Super 8s are 'a money-making racket'

Cork legend Billy Morgan delivers hard-hitting verdict on current state of the game.

CORK LEGEND BILLY Morgan has expressed his concern over the direction Gaelic football is headed and the new structure of the All-Ireland SFC.

AIB GAA Club Player of the Year Awards Launch Billy Morgan was speaking at the AIB GAA Club Player of the Year Awards Launch Source: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE

The former Rebels manager was critical of the trend towards defensive systems and while he enjoys watching All-Ireland champions Dublin in action, Morgan bemoaned the lack of kick-passing employed in the game.

He even went so far as to suggest the name ‘Gaelic football’ be scrapped for a more suitable title.

“I don’t enjoy the type of football that’s played by a lot of teams,”Morgan told The42.

“I love watching Dublin, they play very good football in that they mix up the hand-passing with long kicking. Corofin’s performance (in the All-Ireland club final) – that type of football I enjoy.

“But to my mind now the name should be changed to ‘fistball’ or ‘punchball’ because it’s all fist-passing.

“A few years ago the GAA experimented with a rule that after a number of hand-passes there had to be a kick-pass. I thought that was good but they didn’t continue with it. I’d love to see something like that come in.

“It’s become a possession game. Most coaches will preach keeping possession and not giving the ball away and there’s nothing wrong with that, I’d agree with that myself. Maybe trying a dicey 30, 40 or 50-yard kick-pass as against a 10-yard fist-pass to keep possession, I can understand that.

Billy Morgan Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“But I’d like to see teams getting the ball forward a little bit quicker and being a little bit more daring in getting that ball (forward) quicker and maybe risking losing possession. As I said, coaches coaching maintaining possession I can understand that.”

“A lot of teams now who do play defensive and sweepers and keep possession, they’re not good at going forward and breaking quickly out of defence.”

The 73-year-old voiced his disapproval of the introduction of the Super 8s and said giving April to the clubs “is a joke.”

“I don’t agree with it,” he said about the new Super 8s format. “The clubs are being pushed aside again. I think it’s a money-making racket.

“The Central Council have always said the club is the corner-stone of the Association but I think they’re pushing the clubs more out to the margins. Just giving them April is a joke. What are they supposed to do, play all their club championship games?

“In Cork the first round of the county championship is on now (this weekend) and the next round isn’t on until God knows when. It’s supposed to be at the end of July but if the Cork teams were doing anyway well in the championship they’d be put back and clubs again are left without.”

Morgan also stated it’s “crazy” that his club Nemo Rangers have to begin the defence of their Cork SFC crown this weekend less than a month after their St Patrick’s Day defeat to Corofin.

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Kevin O'Brien

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