VIDEO: Ciaran Whelan thinks the blanket defence is a 'cancer' in GAA 7 years ago

VIDEO: Ciaran Whelan thinks the blanket defence is a 'cancer' in GAA

A powerful word to describe a widespread tactic.

Every GAA fan is looking forward to the first big Sunday of the Championship this weekend, with the clash of Donegal and Tyrone in Ballybofey.

Advertisement

While supporters will be at least hoping for some much needed entertainment to kick-off the new season, it's feared that negative tactics may see blanket defences employed by both sides.

Ciaran Whelan feels that GAA authorities need to act and introduce some radical changes to the game in order to restore the entertainment factor to matches and counter act the so-called negative football.

Speaking on a new RTE promo for their Championship coverage with Des Cahill, the former Dublin star believes the GAA has to act to eradicate a disease within the game,

'We want to bring the entertainment factor and we want to create space to see the best skills on show and more and more teams are adapting the blanket defence.

'I can see why they are  doing it. Every manger has to cut his cloth to suit his needs and if's he's putting out a team against opposition, and he knows he's going to get burnt, he's going to be very, very conservative. He's going to want to keep the game tight, so I can see the logic behind it and I can see why teams do it.'

'But it is becoming a bit of a cancer in the game and it's certainly not adding to the entertainment value.'

Advertisement

The former Dubs midfielder is also proposing a number of changes to improve Gaelic football and feels that reducing teams to thirteen-a-side would go a long way in developing the sport in the future

'We need space on the pitch and we need more scores and we want forwards to demonstrate more skills. The day of a forward getting one-on-one with his man and slotting into the net is almost gone. It's the one area that I feel we could trial to see if we could open out the game'

The former midfielder thinks that the GAA could look at encouraging more long-range point attempts by awarding two points for any score from 35 metres or more out from goal.

Whelan also seems to be in favour of Joe Brolly's controversial proposal that all kick-outs would have travel 45 metres and 'bring back the midfield sector' as he describes it.

Advertisement

However he rejects calls for a 'mark' for clean catches at midfield while he thinks that any attempt to limit the amount of consecutive hand-passes may induce panic in players forced to foot pass.