Several Ulster county team managers have expressed concerns over the fact that what are being described as ‘grey areas’ in relation to the experimental rules still remain even after the Barrett Sports Lighting Dr McKenna Cup.
Indeed, such is the level of apprehension among team bosses throughout the country that GAA President Christy Cooney called a meeting this week at which a number of managers voiced their ongoing worries over the implementation of the ‘mark’ and the fisted pass in particular.
The feeling among managers is that with the National League due to get under way next week-end, the intensity levels of games will increase considerably thus rendering the task of referees much more difficult in policing the implementation of the experimental rules.
Derry boss Damian Cassidy, who has already decried the fact that the rules were brought in “too quickly” in the McKenna Cup.
“It’s nothing more than a spectacular disaster,” he says.
“I think our administrators are being disrespectful to the National League by applying these rules.”
Armagh manager Paddy O’Rourke continues to harbours serious concerns in relation to the fisted pass.
“We have had examples in the McKenna Cup where referees clamped down on hand-passing and on other occasions hand-passing was allowed to go unpunished,” warns O’Rourke.
But the Croke Park hierarchy has pleaded with managers to exercise patience for the duration of the National League so that the rules can be given what president Cooney describes as “a fair chance.”
“Let's give the rules some time during the National League to see how they work.
“Then when county delegates come to Congress in Newcastle in April we can be made aware of everyone’s views and a decision taken in relation to the future rules that will be in the best interests of everyone,” says Cooney.