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‘We’re training athletes to play football rather than footballers to play football’ – Kerry’s Bryan Sheehan supports awarding two points for long-rangers

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Former Kerry footballer, Bryan Sheehan, at the launch of the 2024 Electric Ireland GAA Minor Championships. You can follow the campaign on social media @ElectricIreland and via the hashtag #ThisIsMajor. Photo: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Five-time All-Ireland SFC winner Bryan Sheehan is adamant that the mooted proposal of awarding two points for a long-range score would help to change how the game is played and coached in a positive manner.

The high-profile Football Review Committee, headed by former Dublin boss Jim Gavin, are understood to be tinkering with the idea of long-distance points being rewarded with two points, rather than the usual one.

Sheehan was a long-distance kicker of some renown during his own playing career with Kerry and he welcomes this idea as he feels that “we’re training athletes to play football rather than footballers to play football.”

“You’re going to encourage footballers to be able to kick the ball over the bar because if I’m being honest, we’re training athletes to play football rather than footballers to play football,” Sheehan said.

“What’s happened is that we have athletes that can cover so much ground and we can hand-pass the ball all day and we can get up and down the field all day and we can tackle and get turnovers.

“But how many inter-county footballers can kick the ball over the bar from 35 or 40 yards? There’s only a handful of players in the whole country that could possibly do it on a consistent basis.

“So it is something that could be looked at and you’d have the likes of Paul Mannion and David Clifford and these fellas who can kick scores from distance because it’s a skill set that is dying out.

“It might incentivise people to take scores from distance and teams will have to start looking into footballers that can do that. I like it.”

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