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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 23 July, 2014

Ger Brennan: ‘You can’t look at a fella now sometimes without getting booked’

The Dublin defender believes GAA chiefs are taking the ‘physicality out of the game’.

Johnny McCaffrey (left) and Ger Brennan (right) at yesterday's launch of the 2013 Dublin Spring Series.
Johnny McCaffrey (left) and Ger Brennan (right) at yesterday's launch of the 2013 Dublin Spring Series.
Image: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

DUBLIN FOOTBALLER GER Brennan believes GAA chiefs are taking the ‘physicality out of the game’ with the constant changes being made to the playing rules.

It was recently announced that referees could have the power to issue black cards next year as part of the GAA’s efforts to clamp down on cynical tactics.

The proposals, published by the GAA’s Football Review Committee, will be voted on in Derry at the association’s annual Congress in March.

Yet Brennan, speaking at yesterday’s launch of the 2013 Spring Series in Croke Park, has questioned the direction the game is going in.

The defender expressed his opinion that Gaelic football is being over-complicated for players and referees while it is starting to resemble a non-contact sport like basketball.

“They’re always trying to change the game around. What’s wrong with it? Didn’t they have a black book a few years ago? That was fine, I thought. Sometimes they try to over-complicate it for the players and for the referees.

“You can’t look at a fella now sometimes without getting booked. I look at the hurlers and they very much tear into each other and they get on with it.

“But Gaelic has gone a bit like basketball at times and how often do you see a fella hit a fella a shoulder and there’s not a free?

“They are taking the physicality out of the game in my opinion. Certainly some of the cynical stuff like time-wasting and lads pulling each other down with rugby tackles needs to be looked at.

“But a lad giving a good shoulder thump what’s wrong with that? Many referees are blowing up for that and they’re giving rash bookings.

“A big hit is a part of the game. I remember a couple of seasons ago Marc Ó Se got a straight red card for a shoulder. I know it was rescinded but referees don’t know how to deal with it because they’re reacting to the crowd and stuff.”

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