Donegal manager calls for scrapping of 'confusing' new rules

February 21, 2020

Donegal manager Declan Bonner. ©INPHO/Evan Logan.

By Daragh Small

Donegal manager Declan Bonner says it’s time to get rid of the new rules that have caused ‘confusion’ in this year’s Allianz League.

Donegal are in Division 1 action on Saturday evening when they make the trip to Croke Park for a clash with reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin.

The Division 2 holders claimed their solitary victory away to Meath in Round 2 which sandwiched a last-gasp draw against Mayo and a narrow loss to Galway.

Timekeeping has been a central theme throughout the 2020 campaign, and it affected Donegal’s result against Mayo and Galway, although it was opposition manager Padraic Joyce that felt aggrieved following their Round 3 tie.

Bonner says the new rules surrounding the advanced mark and sin-bin, along with the continuous struggle surrounding timekeeping, must be remedied.

“I don’t think the rules are suiting anyone. They aren’t doing anything for the game,” said Bonner.

“The advanced mark is so confusing. It hasn’t been what it was meant to have been with that aerial ball going in. It is slowing the game down. It is definitely not enhancing it.

“The black card isn’t serving its purpose either. There are teams just taking advantage of stopping the game. Ten minutes after a black card, you are lucky to get two or three minutes of football played. The game is just so stop-start.

“Over the last couple of years, it has got to being an attacking game of football. Last year there were some epic games in the championship. I don’t see why that has to be changed. It is just adding an element of confusion.

“Also, timekeeping at the end is adding more on top of that. The installation of a hooter, it needs to come in. There are four or five minutes put up on a board and then you are playing nine or ten.

“They are only small things and they can be dealt with very easily.”

Donegal lost some veteran campaigners ahead of this season with Frank McGlynn and Leo McCloone stepping away.

But the reappearance of 2012 All-Ireland winner Paddy McBrearty in training, has been a massive boost after he returned from USA.

He looks set to feature in the coming weeks but Dublin may come too early with an inexperienced outfit being deployed in the capital.

“Going to Croke Park is a challenge for these young fellas, and playing the best team in the country, but we are looking forward to it,” said Bonner.

“Dessie Farrell has come in there. He has introduced a lot of younger lads. He is probably looking at the bigger picture. There are a lot of lads to come back on board.

“Dublin are All-Ireland champions for the last five years and the number one team. It is going to take a really good team to knock them off that pedestal.

“But it will be a good challenge. Two points are up for grabs.”

A double line-up of Allianz Football and Hurling League fixtures this weekend. Follow the match tracker for live updates on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

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