Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

New GAA disciplinary rules given guarded welcome

The new experimental disciplinary rules which were introduced for last Sunday’s first round games in the various early-season provincial tournaments have been given a cautious welcome.

The GAA’s Head of Games Pat Daly has already expressed satisfaction with the way in which the new rules have been received by players, managers and fans.

A total of 80 players were sent off for yellow card offences but Daly is convinced that the new rules can help clean up the games as well as making them more exciting and entertaining.

"We are happy. There was more playing time, less frees, less cynicism and bigger scoring," he said after watching Queen’s overwhelm Cavan in the opening game in the Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup.

"It will take the referees a bit of time to adjust, and it will take the players a bit of time to adjust to it. But the message will get through. The message from here on is playing the ball, not on playing the man."

Donegal manager John Joe Doherty, Down boss Ross Carr and Derry supremo Damian Cassidy are among those who have given a guarded reception to the rules.

And former Armagh skipper Kieran McGeeney, now manager of Kildare, has also expressed the hope that the rules might help to improve playing standards and discipline.

Kildare beat Wexford in their opening game in the O’Byrne Cup for which referee David Coldrick was wired up to an RTE News programme.

“I thought he did a very good job,” observed McGeeney.

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