Since Paul Geaney first entered the Kerry senior set-up, he’s had to deal with a plethora of rule changes in the game.
Between black cards, super 8s and advanced marks it’s been a tumultuous ten years for the sport of Gaelic football.
The Dingle forward understands that there has been an appetite for change in recent years, however, he’s not sure if there are many merits in changing the game.
“I think there has been a huge appetite for changing rules. I’m not sure there has been serious merit for it all. Like any sport it goes in circles, it is cyclical.
“The defensive stuff came in during the early noughties maybe to a serious degree. Obviously the swarm defence was there in the early noughties and early teens came in as a defensive style of football. That mould was broken and you have attacking corner-backs. It sorted itself.
“Usually the game will sort itself out in a lot of ways.
“Then you had short kick-outs, the midfielder mark worked out well if any of them worked out, but it didn’t stop short kick-outs being taken. They are still a huge part of the game, but games develop.
“I don’t think it was a bad thing, but I think sometimes the game will work itself out rather than having to bring in rule changes to change things.
“I’m not sure if so many rule changes are necessary. Is it better to let the game feel its way out of it and the next coaching methods come into it?
“Other players will come around and the game will kinda fix itself out in a lot of ways. It is hard to know if there is so much need for all these rule changes with so many at a time, four or five rules.”
Geaney continued by claiming the GAA are ignoring the most obvious rule change.
The need for a second referee.
“You’re still missing the main one in my opinion which is a second referee to implement all these rules or more power to linesmen to referee the game along with the referee or whatever.
“That doesn’t seem to be on the agenda at all. That is the way it is.”
Kerry face Dublin this Saturday in the 2020 Allianz League opener live on eir Sport.
For many, it’s the first chance to see some of the latest rule changes come into effect.
While many believe the tweaking of the black card rule, a player receives ten minutes in the sin-bin rather than being substituted, is a positive, Geaney isn’t so sure.
He believes the sin-bin is more of a punishment.
“I think it’s more of a punishment. You’re down to 14 for 10 minutes. That’s difficult, more severe. I just hope teams don’t suffer from a grey area. Before, at least you could bring on a player for a player. Now, you’re 10 minutes out of 70 down to 14 which is a huge chunk of time.
“And then a guy comes back in and he’s cold so he needs another two or three minutes to get back into the game.
“It’s a severe punishment I think. It might work out better, time will tell but it’s pretty severe. 10 minutes is a long time and you’re gonna have to feel your way through how to manage that in games.
“It’s a different dynamic to what was there before. You could bring in a fella and at least you’re not down a man. That might have to feel they’re way into a game but you’re not down to five backs and have to drop one of your forwards. It’ll definitely bring something different.
The Kerry veteran also gave his take on the advanced mark.
Like most others, the Dingle forward is not a fan of the new rule as he believes it takes away from the root and branch of the game.
“No, I’m not a fan of it.
“I think it is very difficult to defend. I think that the art of defending is and had been waning in the game. It is a difficult task to pick up a good forward at the best of times, not to mind to give him a free shot at goal for catching.
“I think the original idea was for a mark as an overhead catch, but you can mark it from the waist down, even if it is an inch off the ground if you catch it on the full you have a shot at goal.
“You could literally go through a game, kick four, five or six points just from making a run and catching a ball. I’m not sure on the whole thing. I don’t think it is really our game at the root of it, but it is what it is and the changes have been made.
” Obviously we will just have to get on with it, practice your mark.”