Dublin boss Gavin calls for two referees to officiate at big games
In victory, manager queries the free count of 32-12 in Mayo’s favour in the final
Dublin manager Jim Gavin shakes hands with Mayo manager James Horan after the final at Croke Park. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
There are firm hands on the tiller and then there’s Jim Gavin’s guiding lámh.
In the immediate aftermath of Dublin’s 24th All-Ireland football title the manager has called on the GAA to introduce a second referee. The rationale being that the modern game is too “fast and furious” for one decision-maker when it comes to indiscipline.
Joe McQuillan’s free count of 32-12, in Mayo’s favour, from Sunday’s game was so lopsided that it prompted Gavin to state there has been a repetitive bias against Dublin in 2013.
“When you get the analysis back after every game you have to look at it,” said Gavin yesterday in the Gibson Hotel. “We look at every free we give away and see why did we give it away and how can we try to improve.
“It’s probably on the opposite side of the pitch where Bernard Brogan found it difficult to buy a free all season. We’ve had very few frees all season within the scoring zone, for whatever reason I don’t know.”
The counter-argument was to note the actions of Dublin players in the closing minutes of Sunday’s final when Ger Brennan, Kevin McManamon and Darren Daly were shown yellow cards for fouls similar to that which saw Tyrone’s Seán Cavanagh castigated after this summer’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Monaghan.
The introduction of a black card in 2014 will see players sent off, yet replaced by a substitute, for similar indiscretions.
“That was the frustration of the Dublin players boiling through and coming to the surface,” Gavin responded. “We spoke at half-time about the importance of keeping their discipline. They’re quite good at that but they were frustrated that a lot of the decisions seemed to be going against them.
“Rory O’Carroll was a case in point. I saw it again last night and it looked a good shoulder on shoulder tackle. The Mayo players didn’t seem to make a big deal of it, they played on but then the referee blew for a free and gave him a yellow card. That was a bit strange.”
Gavin said the issue was only being highlighted now that the season has ended and Dublin are victorious.
“In defeat it’s not the place to be saying it so we were never going to bring it up before this unless we were in a position where we could mention it. I know the referees and Pat McEnaney is doing outstanding work with the referees committee and I know the supervisors are working hard with referees, not just as an assessor but to try and improve them so it’s a work in progress.