Former Galway defender and triple All-Ireland winner Sylvie Linnane believes that camogie is now more physical than hurling because of the way the game has changed.
A teak-tough corner-back, Linnane said that the modern game is not enjoyable and he reckons the ball needs to be made heavier and more physical contests to be allowed and encouraged.
Linnane, who won three All-Stars and a couple of National League titles in a 14-year senior career with Galway, said the game has “gone too soft” with far too many frees.
“I think the ball is too light, it’s going too far,” said Linnane. “There should be about two ounces put on to it to make it that bit more heavy and it wouldn’t be going as far and you’d have better hurling.
“I’m not enjoying the hurling at the moment, even though it was great to see Galway beating Limerick on Sunday and to see Joe Canning and all the guys in such good form.
“But I just don’t like the pattern of play. There are too many frees, it’s gone too soft to my liking. I’d like to see an odd good shoulder. I see no hurl being broken. Hurling is a man’s game but it’s gone too soft. I see camogie now more physical than the hurling.”
Linnane, an All-Ireland winner in 1980, ’87, and ’88 who suffered defeat in four other finals, said that physical contests were no longer part of the game and that loads of frees and big hauls of points meant that games were not entertaining to watch.
“Maybe it’s me but everyone I’m talking to about hurling, they are not enjoying the game the way it’s being played now.
“It’s the best game in the world but I’d just like to see a puckout and two lads contest it.
“There’s no one allowed now to pull on the ball in the air, you have no ground hurling, and it’s all bunching above in a heap. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I just hope it could go back to where it was,” he told Galway Bay FM.
Linnane, whose nephew Sean is part of the Galway squad, said the use of sweepers was not working, pointing to last year’s All-Ireland semi-final when the Limerick half-forward line of Tom Morrissey, Cian Lynch, and Gearoid Hegarty scored 0-11 from play between them in their win over Galway.
“I think it is ruined with the extra man behind the ball. We played Limerick last year in the semi-final and their half-forward line scored loads of points and we having an extra man in the backs. There’s something wrong somewhere. I tell you, if Peter Finnerty was there, there wouldn’t be four points scored off him. I just think hurling back the years was a better game.”