Waterford Senior Football Manager Tom McGlinchey. Photo Maurice Hennebry.
Tom McGlinchey has called on the GAA to appoint the top officials to Division 3 and Division 4 fixtures. The free count has exceeded forty in all three of Waterford’s matches to date and he feels that more stringent refereeing standards apply to the lower leagues at present.
“In Division 4 and Division 3, I don’t know is there more pressure on the referees with assessors in the stand. I was watching some of the matches from Division 1 and Division 2 on TG4 this morning and you see the tackles put in and the play is let flow. Here, it’s stopped or pulled back or there’s a black card or a yellow card. It’s something that the authorities have to look at. Definitely, the referee wasn’t at fault today. We have to look at the way we give away soft frees in front of the goal.”
McGlinchey has lobbied for this change in the past and fears that his plea will fall on deaf ears again. “I was over Tipperary a long time ago and I remember being in Croke Park back in 2001 and I brought up that point. That’s seventeen years ago. It hasn’t changed and it won’t change. When it doesn’t affect the big boys, the small teams don’t get a look in. We just have to grin and bear it.”
Waterford finished with fourteen men for the second week running as Thomas O’Gorman got a second booking for a late challenge on Laois goalkeeper Graham Brody. James Bermingham flashed six cards to the away team during the second period but McGlinchey had no complaints with his performance. “There was a lot of soft frees that we conceded, the referee wasn’t against us today. Maybe there was one or two, Joe Allen was unfortunate but maybe it looked like a hand-off. They’re soft frees that we could do without giving away. We picked up unnecessary yellows. If you look at our free count, we got three points from frees but none of them were inside the danger area. They were hard frees and Jason took them well. We’re definitely going to have to stop conceding frees.”