/ GAA

Paraic Duffy: Football in best place 'for some time'

Updated: Saturday, 10 May 2014 13:00 | Comments

Some telling battles are sure to be fought out at Croke Park in the months ahead
Some telling battles are sure to be fought out at Croke Park in the months ahead

Counties up and down the country are fine-tuning their preparations for the senior football and hurling Championships.  

Fans are having their say as to who will shine over the summer months.

GAA Director General Paraic Duffy, meanwhile, feels the upcoming battles for Liam MacCarthy and Sam Maguire will be competitive.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Duffy said: "In hurling I feel more teams have a chance of winning the All-Ireland than we’ve had for a long, long time.

"In football, Dublin would appear to be the dominant force, but below that there are eight to ten teams that feel they are not that far way.

"I can’t say which team at this moment can beat Dublin. I can remember the time when Dublin and Kerry were dominating and people were saying that this will never end. But things come in cycles.

“At the moment, I’m satisfied that we have a pretty competitive situation in both codes.

“These are very special events in the Irish sporting calendar. People who only have a passing interest in Gaelic Games become engaged in the fight for Sam and Liam."

“At the moment I’m satisfied that we have a pretty competitive situation in both codes" - Paraic Duffy

Much has been said about the introduction of the black card in football.

Ahead of the league Division 1 semi-finals, the GAA published statistics that showed a general increase in the scoring rate, a rise widely credited to the black card's introduction.

The combined scoring tally of the four Division 1 semi-finalists – Cork, Derry, Mayo, Dublin – in their seven games ahead of the semi-final amounted to 43-421.The tally reached by the 2013 semi-finalists was 26-351.

Duffy feels the black card has served a useful purpose.

"I’ve said publicly in the past that football hasn’t realised its full potential because of the number of fouls in the game,” added Duffy.

“I think the black card has gotten rid of the body collide and has stopped the deliberate dragging down of players. We’ve seen that in the Allianz League where we’ve had less fouls, more scores and more open football. 

"The game is now in a better place than it has been for some time. The likes of Dublin play a very open, attractive game and other counties are now following that." 

Listen to Saturday Sport from 2pm on RTÉ Radio 1 on 10 May for the launch of RTÉ's coverage of the 2014 Championship.

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