Davy Fitzgerald said it’s a must for safety’s sake that the “Anthony Nash motion” is passed in Congress on Saturday.
A playing rules committee, of which Brian Cody is a member, have put forward a proposal calling on all 20 metre frees and penalties to be struck before the 20m line.
The idea is regarded as a reaction to Nash’s goals from 20m frees in last year’s All-Ireland finals when the Cork goalkeeper struck the ball several yards past the line.
Strangely, Cody, when asked about the motion, said yesterday: “I didn’t even realise that Congress was on. I’ve never been at Congress in my life.”
However, Fitzgerald was effusive in his support for it. “Has to happen. There are no ifs, ands or buts. It is about safety, 100%. If you had a son inside in goals and he gets the sliotar from 12 or 13 yards into the throat or any part of the lower body, that is going to do damage. This has to be common sense, nothing else.
“Please don’t do what counties want you do to. Vote for common sense and do the right thing. It is a no-brainer, this one. If you have to look at something else, bring the free out a yard or putting only one in goals, do something.
“You are telling me that it might never happen? I’m telling you from inside in goals that there are some balls you don’t even see. If they hit you in the neck you haven’t a hope. I hope this is a motion that every county gets behind. There is no other reason, because we could all get our freetakers to work of a style like that and get out freetakers to end up on the 13 yard line. We can all work on that, I don’t want to work on it.”
However, Galway boss Anthony Cunningham has no issue with Nash’s swashbuckling style. “I don’t call rules really, but I suppose over the last number of years many freetakers and penalty takers would have brought the ball forward a bit. I don’t think there is any problems with hurling. There is a lot of debate on cards and penalties and I don’t think they should change too many rules, to be honest with you. They should support the referees and the people that execute the rules a bit more.”
Fitzgerald doesn’t back the calls made by Eddie Keher and supported by Cody to rid hurling of yellow and red cards.
“If something is cynical it has to be dealt with, yellow or red. Could I give out to Brian Gavin for giving Brendan Bugler a yellow card? I couldn’t. It was a yellow card and it needed to be dealt with.
“If they are out there they need to be dealt with, end of story, or red. Let’s be intelligent, we don’t need to send off lads willy-nilly. If it is very bad the person goes, end of story. Let’s just enjoy our game — that is important.”
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