Seamus McEnaney wants clock to counter time-wasters

Former Monaghan and Meath manager Seamus McEnaney has called for the introduction of a countdown clock in football when teams are awarded a scorable free.

McEnaney has taken issue with the amount of time wasted in championship games this summer with goalkeepers travelling over half the length of the field to kick ‘45’s and frees from a similar distance.

Kildare’s Mark Donnellan, Limerick’s Brian Scanlon, Raymond Galligan of Cavan, Chris Kerr of Antrim, Monaghan’s Rory Beggan, Niall Morgan of Tyrone and Dublin’s All-Ireland winning-captain Stephen Cluxton were the seven goalkeepers to etch their names onto the scoring chart in this year’s championship, with McEnaney extremely critical of the amount of time afforded to Cluxton in Sunday’s decider against Kerry.

The Dublin ‘keeper was on the mark from the placed ball 20-minutes into the final against the Munster champions and was called forward on three occasions in the second-half - one placed ball kick dropped short and the remaining two were wide.

McEnaney proposes a 20-second countdown clock from when the free is awarded to discourage the practice of goalkeepers kicking frees at the opposite end of the field from which they are stationed.

“If a forward wasted the amount of time standing over a free that Dublin wasted on Sunday in calling up Stephen Cluxton to hit a number of frees, the referee would give a hop-ball,” he argued.

“We should have had several hop-balls on Sunday such was the length of time it took to give the instruction to Cluxton, for him to come up the field, ready himself and then kick the free. It just isn’t on.

“Goalkeepers should be given no special leniency and a 20-second limit would make it impossible for goalkeepers to come forward and hit frees.”

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