'The mark makes it easier for...
Football

'The mark makes it easier for Aussie scouts' | Donaghy on GAA and the AFL

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

21:32 6 Jan 2020

Kieran Donaghy believes that the introduction of the mark into GAA means that it is easier for scouts from Australia to spot young Irish talent.

Speaking in the aftermath of Mickey Harte's comments on the AFL after rumours of the imminent departure of Cathal McShane, Donaghy believes that the GAA have to be wary of the trend towards players leaving.

"I wouldn't say it makes the transition easier, but I would say that it makes the scouting of players a bit easier," said Donaghy of the mark.

"I would say one thing in that the mark would be used differently in GAA as it would be in Aussie rules as there are more 50/50 balls in their game that are put in around the house.

"It wouldn't surprise me that you'll see a few more players from the start going route one around the house because it is an automatic point.

"But the crossover has always been there because of the way that the games are played - there have been tweaks here and there, of course - but the mark will definitely make it easier for scouts that are looking at players like Cathal McShane.

"He is a young player that they feel could be a star down under, and they can come in with a big contract offer for him."

Moreover, Donaghy believes that the GAA need to understand the underlying reasons why players are keen to leave these shores for Australia.

"It is something that has to be addressed by in-depth talks with these guys in the inner circle.

"Talking to these guys and finding what the root causes of their retirements or breaks, and understanding what it is they are finding hard."

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