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Kerry legend Mick O'Connell

Kerry legend Mick O’Connell launches attack on the state of GAA

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Kerry legend Mick O'Connell

Kerry legend Mick O’Connell has launched a blistering attack on the current state of Gaelic football.

Now 75, the All-Ireland winner told the Irish Examiner that he is “ashamed” of the modern game.

O’Connell claimed Gaelic football has become a “mongrel” game which is “virtually impossible” to referee.

“I would watch nearly any other sporting code in preference to Gaelic football,” said O’Connell.

“I’m an ex-Gaelic footballer now and I’m ashamed to say, it’s one of the least attractive games that I watch. And this is not an ex-player condemning present-day players, it’s the game itself I’m talking about.

“This is not personalized criticism. The players nowadays train well and put a huge amount of time into the game, and rightly so -- we did too in our day.

“But the game they’re asked to play is very uncertain. I don’t know how any referee can referee this game, I don’t know how they can be criticized when even the players themselves are uncertain about what’s a foul and what’s not.”

O’Connell added, “I grew up with a game where the ball was caught and delivered, no solo-runs -- I never saw a solo-run in those days.

“Gaelic football was about good fielding and good ball delivery and when you think about what it has become, when you really analyze it, solo-running is just a man running with the ball and playing by himself, no team-work involved whatsoever.”

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