Kerry boss Peter Keane calls on GAA to keep seven subs for championship

Keane believes the move is needed from a player welfare point of view

Kerry manager Peter Keane with  Paudie Clifford as he is replaced in the Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-final against Tyrone at  Fitzgerald Stadium in  Killarney. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kerry manager Peter Keane with Paudie Clifford as he is replaced in the Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-final against Tyrone at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Kerry football manager Peter Keane has called on the GAA to continue the practice of allowing seven replacements in a match. This was introduced for this year’s league to reflect the shorter preparation time for the season and to protect against injury.

Speaking to an online media briefing a week before the county’s opening championship match against Clare on Saturday week, Keane made the point that retention of the provision would be important for player welfare.

“I think the GAA did a great move for the league when they went to seven substitutes. I would certainly think they would be a need to go there for the championship and go back to the seven substitutes, purely from a player welfare point of view.

“Being able to look after fellas and get fellas out because if you look at it, it seems to be soft tissue injuries and muscle injuries that are predominantly the issue here.

“I would call on the GAA and I think it is imperative for the welfare of the players that they retain the seven substitutes for the championship coming up. It was a very, very condensed [league] and obviously it is going to be a very condensed championship.

“You have 13 days of a break between league and championship so I think it is something that should be seriously be looked at.”

He was asked did he expect to have everyone available for the Clare match.

“I think so. As things stood on Thursday night, we are in reasonably good shape. Obviously injuries have been a huge thing. We look around the country and the different counties and some of the high-profile players that have got injured and lots and lots of injuries.

“Even looking at the club scene last weekend, a lot of clubs are picking up a lot of injuries by the nature of it being so compressed.”

After last Sunday’s league win over Tipperary, Waterford manager Liam Cahill also praised the new rule but called for it to be modified. As it stands, although seven replacements are allowed to a team, they must be introduced at no more than five points in the match.

Waterford ran foul of that at the weekend and weren’t permitted to introduce all of the seven players.

“The only thing I’d say is that while the seven subs was a good idea because the league is so condensed, today we went to bring in a sub and weren’t allowed. Maybe that could be looked at – not being allowed to bring in a full complement on the day.

“We were asked to bring in two at the last changeover. Sometimes circumstances don’t allow you to do that and you’re being forced to bring in two when there’s no need. Seven subs are great but maybe we could look at the way they’re being brought on and how that could be improved.”

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