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Joe Brolly Has Pointed Out Everything That Is Wrong With GAA's Introduction Of 'The Mark'

Joe Brolly Has Pointed Out Everything That Is Wrong With GAA's Introduction Of 'The Mark'
By PJ Browne Updated

Unsurprisingly, Joe Brolly has an opinion on the GAA's latest rule change, the mark.

Brolly doesn't just dislike the idea of the mark, he despises it. It's a half-measure - 'window-dress' - one which he believes doesn't address his main bugbear with gaelic football - the blanket defence.

Brolly debated Darragh Ó Sé on Today With Sean O'Rourke on the issue of the mark's introduction.

It’s a total cop-out. High catching is not the problem, it’s never been the problem in the game. It’s the blanket defence that’s the problem and that’s made the game unwatchable. There’s not a problem with high catching.

The problem is what happens when you catch the ball. The big problem is the blanket defence and this does nothing at all to diffuse that problem.

Brolly told of a recent conversation with Ciaran Whelan who is a selector with the Dublin minors who recently trialled the mark over a four week period.

It was a test which left Whelan believing the new rule to be a 'disaster'.

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I'll tell you how bad the mark is. The Dublin minors trialled it for the last four weeks. I was speaking to Ciaran Whelan last night. He said it was a disaster. It slows the game down. You've only got five seconds to take the free if you actually called for the mark, if the referee actually hears you call for the mark. If you don't take it within the five seconds, the ball is thrown up. If you don't take the mark and you run with the ball and you're fouled, then the free is taken from where you're fouled.

It's just a total copout. So for example, what the Dublin minor management have done - one of the most formiddable management teams in the country - they've instructed players not to take the mark.

In Dublin's case, they found that on 50% of the time when the midfielder caught the ball and called for the mark, he exhausted his options and used up his five seconds and so the ball was thrown up.

Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE


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