Pat Spillane has urged GAA officials to reconsider how they settle drawn championship matches in 2020 while offering a unique and interesting solution to ensuring each game finishes on the day.
Penalty shootouts have become more and more common in Gaelic games with various club championship games up and down the country being decided via ‘spot-kicks’ in 2019.
Last year also saw the first-ever inter-county penalty shootout when Mayo defeated Leitrim 4-1 in their pre-season FBD League clash.
With the 2020 Championship set to kick off in October, and finish just shy of Christmas, the GAA has announced that there will be no replays this season and that drawn games will be decided via penalties.
Borrowed from Association Football, the method has continually drawn a mixed reception from the GAA fraternity. However, this writer has outlined how penalty kicks could benefit Gaelic games.
Eight-time All-Ireland, and veteran analyst and Pat Spillane, is against the idea. However, the Kerry great has offered up an alternative method which may also excite fans.
Spillane believes that the GAA should consider introducing a “golden score” whereby the first person to score in extra-time proves to be the game’s match-winner.
“A fella misses a penalty, an individual has just cost his county the All-Ireland title,” Spillane said on The Sunday Game.
“I think the fairer system is — yes extra-time — but then golden score, first team to score wins. Collective responsibility in victory, collective responsibility in defeat.
“To lose an All-Ireland final with a missed penalty… I wouldn’t like to be that player heading back to the county.”
Former Dublin All-Star midfielder Ciaran Whelan believes we are going to see a championship match decided via penalties this year and that he hopes the GAA could bend the rules to allow for an All-Ireland final to be replayed.
'I wouldn't like to be that player heading back to the county'
Pat Spillane and Ciaran Whelan discuss the prospect of big All-Ireland Championship games being decided on penalties
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) June 28, 2020
“The game has to finish on the day and no doubt we are going to see [penalties]. Do I like it? No but unfortunately it’s the time frame we’re in,” the former Dublin star says.
“From a player’s perspective, to lose an All-Ireland final on penalties would be very, very hard to take. I get it, I understand it, but I think for the final there would be justification for a replay, in my view.”