Aidan O’Mahony: Football needs two referees

Aidan O’Mahony: Football needs two referees
Aidan O’Mahony: Kerry lads stood up when needed

Gaelic football needs a second referee to counter dropping officiating standards, argues former Kerry star Aidan O’Mahony, who says use of the advantage rule is currently “all over the shop”.

“The day has come to bring in two referees into our game,” O’Mahony told Paddy Power News. “Munster GAA, and the GAA in general, have plenty of money in the coffers to do it. Why not splash out on it! It’s very simple, what would be the issue with having a second ref on the pitch?

“Have them pick up the play from either 65 into the goals. It’s a no-brainer for me.”

O’Mahony didn’t agree with the sending-off of Kerry’s Paul Geaney in last Saturday’s Munster final.

“I thought it was very harsh, but it was great to see Kerry perform after that. A lot of people were getting worried when Paul was sent off because Cork were coming right into the game. The Kerry lads really stood up when they needed to.

A lot of people were giving out about the referee, and goodness knows I’ve had enough run-ins with them, but they seem to leave a lot of frees go nowadays. The advantage is all over the shop too.

“The pace of the game is gone too high for one ref on the pitch. A ball can be kicked 60 yards and they end up a mile behind the play.”

The teak-tough defender admitted to reservations about the display of Kerry’s backline, which coughed up three goals, but insists the forwards must take as much responsibility for defensive frailities.

“It certainly was a worry to see Kerry opened up so easily. They only conceded to 13 scores, but any top team will set up their stall not to let in goals and Kerry allowed Cork three of them.

“I believe it’s a good thing going forward for them though, because it will open up Kerry’s eyes to the problem. They definitely have to work on it and that goes for our forwards too. You cannot leave your man go off on a run, even if you are in the full forward line.

“The game has changed so much now, that as a forward, if your marker runs down the tunnel and out onto the road, then you have to go after him. The modern game demands it.

“Peter Keane is a shrewd operator though, and he’ll sense that teams will try to run down the middle at Kerry now.”

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