Davy Fitzgerald: Players and managers should have been consulted on advantage rule

Various managers and pundits slammed the new rule after last weekend's opening round of Allianz League games
Davy Fitzgerald: Players and managers should have been consulted on advantage rule

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald: Unimpressed with rule change. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Davy Fitzgerald has predicted that the new advantage rule will be a failure and has hit out at the GAA for not discussing it with players and management first.

Various managers and pundits slammed the new rule after last weekend's opening round of Allianz League games with ex-Limerick star Shane Dowling branding it "a disgrace".

With advantage now only supposed to be used in two situations - if a goal is on or if the fouled player 'is clear and has time and space' - the fear is that the free count in games will increase significantly.

Wexford manager Fitzgerald said he's pretty certain that come the end of the year, the change will be deemed unsuccessful.

His hope is that GAA authorities agree to a U-turn sooner rather than later and queried why they didn't simply ask players and managers first.

"There are times where maybe players and management could be asked certain things," said Fitzgerald who has teamed up with the Marie Keating Foundation to help men Give Bladder Cancer the Red Card.

To mark Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, hurling legend and Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald has teamed up with the Marie Keating Foundation and Roche to 'Give Bladder Cancer the Red Card'. The awareness campaign aims to encourage men who are three times more likely to be diagnosed than women to know the warning signs and get help if needed. Visit www.mariekeating.ie/redcard for more information. Pictured is Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald, at Dromoland Castle Hotel in Newmarket on Fergus, Clare. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
To mark Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, hurling legend and Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald has teamed up with the Marie Keating Foundation and Roche to 'Give Bladder Cancer the Red Card'. The awareness campaign aims to encourage men who are three times more likely to be diagnosed than women to know the warning signs and get help if needed. Visit www.mariekeating.ie/redcard for more information. Pictured is Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald, at Dromoland Castle Hotel in Newmarket on Fergus, Clare. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

"I think this is one of the first years that managers were asked a question, I said, 'Jesus, we're being asked a question'. It was about the five (league) games, or three games. That's the first time I've been asked a question in years. You don't get asked the question, you're told what's happening.

"And to me, would it not be ideal for players and management to be asked what they think? Like, these rules are forced upon you and you don't get a thing - you don't even get a chance to comment on it or talk about it before it happens.

"Maybe it would be nice that it's a thing where we could actually be involved in the process a small bit."

Former Waterford and All-Ireland winning Clare manager Fitzgerald said his gut instinct after week one of the league is that the new rule is going to slow down games.

"Blow the frees that need to be blown," he urged. "We could blow a free every two minutes, if we wanted to. I was involved in a game last year where there were 40-something frees in it and someone said to me, 'The ref was right, he had to blow it'.

"That's baloney, it was the worst game of hurling ever. It was just 48 frees in 70 minutes, that's ridiculous. You have to use a bit of common sense. I think that's the most important thing. I just think we need to be careful with this rule."

Fitzgerald's Wexford play his native Clare on Sunday, the same county that knocked the 2019 Leinster champions out of last year's Championship in the qualifiers.

"Any time over the last few years that we've played Clare they absolutely rose it unreal playing Wexford," he said. "I know a lot of those young lads and the respect I have for a lot of those young lads is incredible. Don't you know the kitchen sink will be coming on Sunday."

- To mark Bladder Cancer Awareness Month this May, Davy Fitzgerald has teamed up with the Marie Keating Foundation and Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd. to ‘Give Bladder Cancer the Red Card’. The awareness campaign aims to encourage men – who are three times more likely to be diagnosed than women – to know the warning signs such as blood in the urine, and get help if needed. See www.mariekeating.ie/redcard for info.

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