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'My initial thoughts were just that they were pretty bad ideas' - Dublin star on new proposed rule changes

Paul Mannion is against the new proposed plans to change the face of Gaelic football.

Paul Mannion at yesterday's press event before the 2018 Dublin county senior football final.
Paul Mannion at yesterday's press event before the 2018 Dublin county senior football final.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

DUBLIN FOOTBALL STAR Paul Mannion isn’t a fan of the proposed new rule changes for Gaelic football.

The GAA’s standing committee on playing rules revealed earlier this month the five rules that they believe should be experimented with in the sport.

A restriction in handpasses, a plan to have all sidelines kicked forward, the introduction of an attacking mark, the implementation of a sin bin and a new kick-out rule involving zoning are to be considered.

But Mannion, a key figure again in Dublin’s All-Ireland success this year and a winner with his club Kilmacud Crokes in last Saturday’s county semi-final, is not impressed with what has been suggested.

He is aware that they are only proposals and is open to the idea of inside mark being trialled but overall feels they would change Gaelic football ‘in so many ways’ if implemented.

“I personally think they are a really bad idea, to be honest. I completely understand they are only proposals and just suggestions. So we won’t know until a few of them are trialled, but my initial thoughts were just that they were pretty bad ideas.

“I don’t know how much kind of thought went into them or was there any kind of consultation process, but I just don’t see what they are trying to achieve or what it’s going to do.

“It is going to change the game in so many ways – if they were all introduced. Now I know it’s unlikely they’d all be implemented but it would just be a completely different game if all those were brought in. Yeah, I’d be completely against them to be honest.”

The inside mark would be the proposed rule likely to impact most on Mannion’s style of play as a regular corner-forward in the Dublin team.

Paul Mannion lifts the Sam Maguire Paul Mannion lifts the Sam Maguire last month. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I suppose even when they were bringing the kickout mark in, when that was proposed I was kind of 50-50, I didn’t know what would work, what it would look like and then when it was trialled, I was like, ‘This actually works pretty well’.

“I thought that was a good one. I kind of feel similar about that one. That’s probably the only one that I’d be like maybe it might work. So I suppose seeing if it’s trialled and how it works out, it could turn out to be a good idea.

“It probably takes a little bit away from your preparations in the league if you know whatever happens, you’re going to be going back to the old rules. There’s nothing we can do about that, it’s out of our hands. We’ll just focus on what we can control. We’ll have plenty of time during the championship anyway to practise ourselves in our own training games so it won’t be a massive issue really.”

Mannion’s Dublin boss Jim Gavin has been a previous advocate for the sin bin but the attacker does not agree with the plan that is being floated.

Jim Gavin celebrates with Paul Mannion Jim Gavin celebrates with Paul Mannion after the victory over Tyrone. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“You could have situations now where if a sin bin is brought in, teams will completely shut up shop for 10 minutes and do everything they can to just waste time and it’ll turn out to be worse again. It’s really difficult to see how these will work out unless they’re trialled.

“I wouldn’t agree with that now myself. Unless then they started giving out yellow cards more frequently, I’d imagine that would have to be the case if you’re going to need three yellow cards to get sent off. Again, it could just turn the game into complete chaos with fouling and this kind of stuff.

“I’m glad anyway at least that there’s going to be some thought around it before going to trial and if it’s a success then we can implement it. They’re only suggestions and proposals. They’re not wrong to try and improve the game. That’s what everyone wants. Everyone’s all for that, trying to improve it.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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