Sport

Advanced mark an "insult to anyone who has ever kicked a point" | McGuinness



Former Donegal manager Jim Guinness sees the advanced mark as an "insult to anyone who has ever kicked a point in Championship football".

Since the start of this year, a player can avail of a mark if they catch a kick-pass inside the 45-metre line which has travelled more than 20 metres. But the Sky Sports GAA analyst feels the introduction of the attacking mark has hurt the game rather than helped it.

"I think it's a terrible rule to be honest with you," the 2012 All-Ireland winning boss said of the advanced mark on tonight's Off The Ball.

"I don't get it, i really don't get it. Coaches have worked out how to use it and I'll be honest with you, I can see a situation in an All-Ireland semi-final of final where the game is level and it's decided by that.

"It's a get out of jail, you don't have to think your way through it, you don't have to find a solution, you can just keep the ball, keep the ball, keep the ball, and we know that's going to happen anyway because everyone is playing the same system.

"If you look at what's happening, teams will go inside the 45m and and if they don't fancy it then they'll come back out and go across the 45. Teams are leaving one, two, or three players outside the 45.

"When they're out there the other team doesn't think they're a major danger but they are because they get that handy fist-pass to them and all they have to do then is lift the head and play a twenty metre foot pass and somebody catches it.

"That's all you have to do to get a score in Championship football, for me the highlight is Marc O'Se against Bernard Brogan, Peter Canavan, Tony Scullion, the Gooch, the list goes on and on. The best corner forwards against the best full-back lines and the ball is kicked in, that's the moment the whole crowd goes, 'now what has he got?', he's won the ball but can he now beat his marker?

"You don't have to do that now, in theory you could be a very average player with a good burst of pace and a free taker and if you stand on the edge of the 'd' and make that run and then win that ball on your chest then you can put your hand up and say I'm going to kick that over the bar.

"I think it's an almost like an insult to anyone who has ever kicked a point in Championship football in Ireland in earnest, because all of those scores are so hard fought.

"If they're interested in developing the kicking game and high fielding, to my mind, the kick should be outside the 65m, not the 45m and (the catch) should be inside the 45 so that it travels at least 20-30 metres.

"Make it a skill so that they have to go up and catch the ball above their head in order for it to stand as a mark. There's so much wrong with it, it hasn't worked, I think at the beginning of the year they were kicking into the full-forward line but that has stopped. They're now trying the wee cute one from just outside the 45 on the diagonal and then just kicking it over from the top of the 'd'."



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Advanced Mark Donegal GAA Jim McGuinness

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