Carr says anti-Ulster agenda inspired changes


DOWN: Senior football manager Ross Carr has launched a scathing attack on the GAA's new experimental playing rules, claiming they are designed to halt the success of Ulster teams.

Former All-Ireland medallist Carr is adamant Gaelic Football is not a cynical game and insisted the game's decision-makers should be more concerned with punishing players who fake injuries and who try to get opponents booked or sent off.

Carr believes that next Sunday's McKenna Cup opponents Tyrone and Ulster champions Armagh are being punished for their recent success and that GAA top brass have "taken umbrage" by introducing the new rules.

He noted: "Everybody's standing off and it's more like sevens' football. Players are afraid to make tackles in case they get caught for yellow cards.

"I didn't think that football was cynical to begin with and the powers-that-be have taken umbrage against Armagh and Tyrone's style of play and Ulster's success and tried to stop it.

"Look at the amount of games played over the course of the year - how many serious violations are there? I don't think that football is any worse than any other sport.

"In all of the new rules, why has there been no outcry against feigners, fakers and divers? That's far worse, in my view, and a player should not play for six months if he attempts to get another player sent off."

Carr believes that overuse of the handpass leads to scrum-type situations on the field and he stated: "It's the handpass that needs to be looked at. The amount of handpassing is creating the problems and the one thing we can't do is take the physical confrontation out of Gaelic football.

"I just feel the success of Armagh and Tyrone has been interpreted by the media in a certain way which has led to begrudgery and I feel they have gone overboard in blaming those teams for the alleged cynicism now being levelled at Gaelic football."

TYRONE: Minor sensation from 2008 Kyle Coney has shed further light on his reasons for returning to Gaelic games despite signing a two-year rookie contract with AFL club the Sydney Swans.

Coney made a significant impact in the excellent All-Ireland minor football final replay defeat of Mayo last autumn and delayed a move out to Australia to help his club Ardboe capture the county championship.

Coney headed Down Under last month but has opted to return home. "I was treated perfectly well (in Australia)," Coney told RTÉ radio. "It was just the passion to play at home that made it a tough one to call. Hopefully, I made the right decision."

"You need to have the passion to play any sport. I was born and reared with the round ball and (Aussie Rules) just wasn't there for me. I'm happy to back with Ardboe and Tyrone.

MONAGHAN: Manager Séamus McEnaney has confirmed that Vincent Corey has succeeded Damien Freeman as captain of the county's senior football team.

Versatile Clontibret star Corey will be officially unveiled as the on-field leader next Monday evening.

A major international bank will be revealed as Monaghan's new sponsor, McEnaney will announce his 2009 panel and a new playing kit will be launched at the Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan town.

McEnaney said: "It's an exciting time for Monaghan Gaels, fans, players and the management team."

"We decided to freshen the backroom team; that won't be announced until Monday night, and we have brought seven new players into the panel.

"We have a very high-profile sponsor coming on board and we decided that we would change the captain. Corey will now be backed up by the newly-appointed vice-captain Eoin Lennon.

WEXFORD: Former county star and 1996 All-Ireland medallist Liam Dunne has agreed to take over as senior hurling team manager of his home club Oulart-the-Ballagh, just two months after quitting as a player.

Dunne played his last game of hurling against St Martin's in the Wexford senior hurling final on November 2nd but has stepped into the breach as Oulart manager after Kevin Ryan left to take charge of the Carlow senior team.