It was like he was never away.
Despite being axed from RTÉ, we never really had the feeling that Joe Brolly would be out of our lives for good. That sense was proven correct when it was announced that he would be part of Eir Sport's coverage of the league this year.
Brolly made his debut on the channel this evening before Donegal vs Mayo and he certainly picked up where he left off.
The former Derry star went in two-footed on the new rule changes that have recently been brought into Gaelic football, claiming that they did absolutely nothing to tackle the biggest issues plaguing the sport.
"Very little thought has gone into this.
"What was the problem with the game? The problem was the sweeper occupying the scoring zone" @JoeBrolly1993 says the advanced mark rule won't deal with the problem that it was brought in to deal with. #AllianzLeagues #MatchNightLive pic.twitter.com/w0Ryt8uEWh
— eir Sport (@eirSport) January 25, 2020
Very little thought has gone into this. What was the problem with the game? The problem was sweepers occupying the scoring zone and stifling the game, forcing you to play sidewards and backwards.
The answer to that is not an advanced mark. The advanced mark is basically altering the character of the game, it's making us look like Aussie rules.
The rule is very complicated. It's not going to deal with the problem it is supposed to deal with because they haven't thought that through.
It's the same with the sin bin. The real problem with cynical play is depriving somebody of a goalscoring opportunity in the last quarter of the game, or a point scoring opportunity.
Again, instead of scrapping the black card or completely altering the way it works, we haven't looked at the real problem and dealt with it.
It's difficult to argue with much of what Brolly has to say here.
One of the stranger aspects of the new rules is how the advanced mark will be enforced. Under changes that were made only a few days ago, a player who catches the ball cleanly in an advanced area from a kick pass of 20 metres or more cannot be tackled for four steps, even if they decide against taking the mark.
Brolly sees this as a major hole in the rules, and one that could have major consequences.
I don't know what intelligent fool has drafted these rules. One of the anomalies is that if you catch the ball and decide not to take the mark, you're allowed to take four strides before you are tackled.
You could conceivably take four strides, not be tackled and stick the ball in the net...
None of these make any sense to me.