New penalty rules leave Cork hurling skipper Anthony Nash plenty to ponder

Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash admitted he’s got some big decisions to make after experiencing a one-on-one penalty first hand.

Anthony Nash: Faced his first penalty under the new rules last week.

Nash’s pioneering style of penalty and free-taking in the 2013 Championship ultimately forced GAA chiefs to change the rules.

Penalty and free-takers were restricted to striking from no closer than the 21-yard line for the majority of last year’s Championship.

That was deemed to favour the defending team too much, so a straight shoot out between attacker and goalkeeper is currently on trial for penalties.

New Cork captain Nash experienced it last Thursday evening in the Canon O’Brien Cup encounter with UCC, and ironically was beaten in the head to head.

He said the big decision now for goalkeepers is whether to gamble with an early dive or trust reaction instincts and hold their ground.

“It was a good strike that beat me, it was in off the post,” said Nash. “We just have to look at it now as goalkeepers and see what strategy to go with.

“Are you going to guess like soccer (and dive) or are you going to stand up and take a chance?

“I only found out before the game that the trial was in straight away. You’re not going to know how it goes until a couple of games in.”

Nash said it’s not certain whether he or Patrick Horgan will take the penalties and 21-yard frees for Cork this year.

“It depends on what Jimmy wants,” said Nash. “If he wants me to go up and take them, I’ll gladly take them.

“If Pat is going to take them, I don’t care who scores them once they score. On the saving side of things, myself and Patrick Collins will have to look to see how we’re going to adapt to saving a one-on-one shot.”

Nash made his bow as captain in the Canon O’Brien Cup encounter but admitted he was shocked to succeed Pa Cronin in the position.

Cronin asked to ‘step back’ from the captaincy after skippering Cork to last year’s Munster title and the 2013 All-Ireland final.

“I got a phone call about it, I was surprised, shocked,” said Nash, in an interview with Cork’s Red FM.

“It was a surprise. With Jimmy, there’s no bigger name in Cork GAA, he’s a living legend so when he picks up the phone and asks you to do something, (you do it).

“I was nervous when the phone call came, you’re wondering, ‘why is he ringing? Is it going to be bad news or good news?’ But it’s a massive honour and I hope I can do the best I can.”

The two-time All Star said he won’t react to his new status by doling out instructions to players.

“I can’t tell Patrick Horgan how to play as a forward or Paudie O’Sullivan or Pa or Aidan (Walsh) or any of the lads,” said Nash. “If anybody wants to come for a bit of advice, fine. I suppose it’s just making sure the new fellas on the panel are welcomed in. The dressing room is so strong, the personalities in there, it doesn’t take a massive amount of work from the captain.”



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