Legendary broadcaster Mícheál Ó'Muircheartaigh said the evolution of Gaelic football was always inevitable and something we must all accept.
Speaking on OTB AM, the Kerry native said that while the style of positions has changed, the quality of players are as strong as ever as he compares the midfield style of Brian Fenton to the greats of the GAA past.
“You see things you never saw before in the game happening and you accept that. If sport didn’t change it would be very boring. Teams have new ideas in training and playing and I have seen major changes.
“Back when I started broadcasting in 1949, players had to hold their positions at those times. There would be no reason on earth for the right fullback to go beyond the 14-yard line. All long kicking and not much soloing.
“Changes have come, free-taking is different, catching around the centre of the field. The object there years ago was to simply catch the ball. Now players try to stop the other players from catching in midfield.”
While Ó'Muircheartaigh said he preferred the old-style tactics of a midfielder, he held praise for Dublin’s Brian Fenton, saying his quality is up there with the likes of Mick O’Connell and Brian Mullins.
“I would love if catching the ball in midfield was like what it used to be. There was nothing like Mick O’Connell, Brian Mullins and Paddy Kennedy. Man, against man.
“The game is so different but catching is still the same. Brian Fenton is a wonderful fielder of the ball and he has the gift like Mick O’Connell, where in a quick second after catching the ball they escape the opposition and are on their own.
“There is still a great roar from the crowd when you pull off a great catch, even though you get a free now for catching the ball, which I don’t agree with.”
Ó'Muircheartaigh said you couldn’t possibly compare the current Dublin team to teams of the past, like the Kerry four-in-a-row, saying each have their own merits.
However, he said Dublin winning five-in-a-row is better and just another change in the constant evolution of the GAA.
“It’s great to win four-in-a-row, it’s better to win five. Its never happened until Jim Gavin and his men. You can’t take it from them. That’s another change in the game and the award went to Dublin.”
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