Donegal’s veteran midfielder Rory Kavanagh said the introduction of the ‘mark’ rule to gaelic football will only add more confusion to the game.
The St. Eunan’s clubman said he’s totally against the new changes and insisted that in recent years, there has been far too much tampering with the rules of the game.
The ‘mark’ will come into Gaelic football on January 1st after a motion was passed at GAA Congress at the weekend.
The new rule will mean that a player who catches the ball cleanly from a kick-out on or past the 45-metre line nearest the kick-out point, without it touching the ground, shall have the option of calling a ‘mark’ and taking a free kick, or alternatively, playing on immediately.
Kavanagh might well be one of the players who could best utilise the new rule. However, he said he’s totally against the change.
“I see it as heaping more confusion on the game, and more confusion on referees,” he said.
“Let’s be honest about it, the implementation of the black card rule is still causing problems. Referees are having to make split second decisions and there are questions over whether incidents are black card, yellow card or even red card offences.”
Kavanagh argued that the ‘mark’ might well cause its own confusion, especially in cases where a player initially decides to move forward before quickly changing his mind and taking the ‘mark’.
“In the heat of battle at inter-county level when you’re in an All Ireland quarter-final or a semi-final, it’ll mean more big calls and more confusion,” he said.
“As well as that, you could well find that there will be a lot more spoiling in the game.
“You can be sure there will be coaches and managers out there insisting on their players not to let the opposition gain any clean catches. Players will be told to do anything they can to stop that from happening and to spoil as much as they can.”
Meanwhile, Kavanagh revealed that he is still deciding on his future with the Donegal team ahead of the 2017 campaign. A primary school teacher in Letterkenny, the 34-year-old and his wife Katherine celebrated the birth of a second child last month.
“I’ve spoken to Rory (Gallagher) and I’ve told him I’m not in a position to give a full commitment just yet,” he said.
“I’ll leave it until after Christmas and the New Year and make my decision then.”
Kavanagh retired from inter-county football in January 2015 but had a change of heart and returned to the county panel a year later.