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Caulfield: Certain players are always diving and it's wrong

“It’s wrong for their managers to allow them to do it.”

John Caulfield at Richmond Park last night.
John Caulfield at Richmond Park last night.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Updated at 09.30

CORK CITY MANAGER John Caulfield expressed his frustration at an increasing culture of diving in the League of Ireland after Friday night’s game against St Patrick’s Athletic.

The sides played out a scoreless draw at Richmond Park, and Pat’s finished the game with 10 men following Lee Desmond’s sending-off in the 75th minute. The left-back was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Billy Dennehy, having already been booked for dissent in the first-half.

Neither camp seemed happy afterwards, however. Pat’s boss Liam Buckley said he was ‘disappointed’ with referee Derek Tomney’s decision to give Desmond his marching orders, while City manager John Caulfield also had cause for complaint.

When asked for his thoughts on the performance of Derek Tomney, Caulfield didn’t criticise the official directly, but he did seem upset about players being a little too keen to go down under challenges.

It was a competitive game last night in Inchicore but there were few, if any, bad tackles. Nevertheless, Tomney dished out six yellow cards in an occasionally ill-tempered contest.

“The problem at the moment is that you have a certain number of players that are just going to ground very easily. The game has changed compared to 10/15 years ago,” said Caulfield.

“Before, fellas were honest when a fella went in for a challenge. Now, it’s hard to tell because a lot of the clever players now see people coming and they fall on the ground. It’s a difficult job.

“There was no bad challenge in the match and in most of the games nowadays there isn’t really bad challenges. He [the referee] might have gotten a few calls wrong but I didn’t think any major decision was wrong, or anything like that. Maybe Liam [Buckley] will have a different opinion on it.”

On that subject, Shamrock Rovers midfielder Keith Fahey was sent off against Derry City last night at the Brandywell after picking up a second yellow card for simulation — or diving, as it’s more commonly known.

Caulfield was dismissive when asked how he’d handle the situation if one of his own players was guilty of doing so.

Lee Desmond leaves the field Lee Desmond leaves the field after being sent off for St Pat's last night against Cork City. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

He said: “We don’t do it. We don’t do it, it’s wrong. I’m disappointed people don’t report it enough, very disappointed. Because we don’t surround the referee, we don’t get other players sent off or get other players booked. We don’t do it. We know it’s wrong.

“Very good players out there are doing it, and I think it’s wrong. I think it’s wrong for their managers to allow them to do it. That’s my opinion. It’s not a nice side to the game. I just don’t like it.

“Everyone likes to watch a competitive game but I think there are certainly four or five very talented players in this country that are always doing it. And I think it’s wrong.”

Originally published at 16.36 on 11 April

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Paul Dollery

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