"It can be headwrecking"- Kevin McStay on the majority of GAA referees 4 years ago

"It can be headwrecking"- Kevin McStay on the majority of GAA referees

 

more often than not, your referee on a given weekend will be less than adequate, especially in the lower divisions.

It’s something that we accept as part and parcel of the club game and we just learn how to play on these refs inadequacies, but Kevin McStay says that even at intercounty level the standard if refereeing is far below standard.

If you’ve lined out for your club on more than a few occasions chances are you have a list of referees that you don’t want to see pulling into your club car park on a Sunday. The worrying thing for our association according to McStay however is, that even at the highest level there are only a select few officials who have a good grasp of how to adjudicate a game.

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There isn’t a club GAA player in the country who hasn’t encountered a frustrating referee who they've blamed for losing.

The sad truth is that, sometimes, your referee on a given weekend might be less than adequate, especially in the lower divisions.

It’s something that we accept as part and parcel of the club game and we just try to learn how to get around these elements, but Kevin McStay says that even at inter-county level the standard of refereeing is far below standard.

If you’ve lined out for your club on more than a few occasions, chances are you have a list of referees that you don’t want to see pulling into your club car park on a Sunday.

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The worrying thing for our association though, according to McStay, is that even at the highest level, there are only a select few officials who have a good grasp on how to adjudicate a game.

Speaking on The GAA Hour, McStay said that managers outside of the top division are at their wits' end with the manner in which their games are currently being refereed.

"It’s a balance but outside of the top six or eight referees its extremely average," he complained.

"I met Colm Collins on Sunday. We were just talking about refereeing and officials down at the lower levels. It can be head wrecking!"

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It was clear from the Roscommon manger's account that some managers outside the top flight are sick and tired of the GAA's façade of the very odd appearance by top referees at games in their divisions.

"Some of the stuff you see down at the divisions and the play were at is cuckoo, and I think the managers are getting very frustrated about it."

"We can’t say a lot, but I think internally we're all so frustrated about it."

While McStay did complain about the quality of refereeing at his division, he did admit that there are benefits to playing at the lower levels. The Roscommon manager said that he doesn't envy the media attention that some of the more prestigious managerial roles bring.

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"Every move Stephen Rochford or Jim Gavin, Eamonn Fitzmaurice or Mickey Harte makes is being absolutely sliced and diced," he said.

"Everything they do!"

"I'm not operating at their level obviously," he added. "Down where we operate it's not so bad."

"The enormous pressures that they're under to deliver isn’t replicated down where were operating."   

The media has had a fraught relationship with some of the country's top managers of late, scrutinising them for their reluctance to speak, but McStay said that if in their position he would probably do something similar.

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"Maybe the managers of the top teams are saying 'I'm not bothering to explain myself to everybody anymore because half of them will take it the way they want anyway'," he said

"Please god if we get to that level in the next couple of years these podcasts might be out of the question."

Listen to the full interview and much more from The GAA Hour Football Show right here.