Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO
THE ISSUE OF the GAA better protecting its players was on Sean Cavanagh’s mind before he suffered horrific facial injuries during a club game last weekend.
Cavanagh was left hospitalised after taking a knee to the face 20 minutes into Moy’s Tyrone SFC first round defeat to Edendork on Saturday.
He later confirmed on Twitter that “a bad concussion, broken nose and extensive facial injuries” was the extent of the damage.
And so it continues 😨😨@KCsixtyseven Edendork played Moy today in the Tyrone senior championship first round
20 yellows -6 reds-1 Black
And Sean Cavanagh transported away to hospital in an ambulance. The man that inflicted the injury did not receive a card of any description pic.twitter.com/gOWQdhLVoc
— david greene (@buddygreene) September 16, 2018
Speaking to The42 last week to promote his newly released autobiography ‘The Obsession’, Cavanagh called for a second referee to be introduced to Gaelic football to help protect the top players.
“I like the idea of a second referee with some of the stuff that goes on off the ball,” he said.
“It can frustrate some of our top players and skilful players. In International Rules we always had a second referee and you knew the eyes were on you. You couldn’t overstep the mark and that effectively gives good players the advantage.
“I hope the guys can get it right in Croke Park and move the game so it’s a bit more about attacking and clinical finishing and entertainment.
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“I think our game probably does need a few wee rule changes just to try and bring the important aspects back to the play.”
In his book, Cavanagh recounts several unsavoury tales of being targetted on the field throughout his career.
On one occasion he was punched in the head by an adult supporter after playing in an U16 club game for the Moy against Ardboe.
Later in his career, while lining out for Tyrone against Cavan in the Ulster championship, a defender spat in his face multiple times during the game.
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– First published 13.30, 17 September
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