/ GAA

Davy Fitzgerald backs motion to ban 'Nash free'

Updated: Monday, 17 Feb 2014 19:04 | Comments

The Clare team fails to stop a Nash shot in the All-Ireland final
The Clare team fails to stop a Nash shot in the All-Ireland final

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Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald supports the banning of the 'Anthony Nash free', which will be debated in a motion at Congress this weekend.

"It has to happen," said Fitzgerald, citing safety concerns rather than a player gaining an advantage, as his main issue with the style of free-taking popularised by the Cork goalkeeper, who lifts the ball several metres ahead into the air before running forward and striking it.

Delegates at Croke Park will vote on a motion that would make it an offence to "advance the ball deliberately from the place at which a free puck, penalty puck or sideline puck is to be struck from”.

"There are no ifs, ands or buts. It is about safety, 100%," said Fitzgerald.

"If you had a son inside in goals and he gets the sliotar from 12 or 13 yards into the throat or any part of the lower body, that is going to do damage.

"This has to be common sense, nothing else. Please don't do what counties want you do to. Vote for common sense and do the right thing.

"It is a no-brainer, this one. If you have to look at something else, bring the free out a yard or putting only one in goals, do something. 

"You are telling me that it might never happen? I'm telling you from inside in goals that there are some balls you don't even see.

"If they hit you in the neck you haven't a hope. I hope this is a motion that every county gets behind.

"There is no other reason, because we could all get our free-takers to work off a style like that."

Other hurling motions to be debated include making interference with an opponent's helmet a red-card offence and a proposal that any team emerging from the Leinster qualifying group ( Antrim, Carlow, Laois, London and Westmeath) who beat Kilkenny, Galway, Dublin, Offaly or Wexford in a Leinster quarter-final would swap places with the defeated side for the following year's championship.

See a summary of the main motions for Congress here

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