Opinion: The fly goalkeeper is here to stay

By Michael McMullan

HE MAY have had an off-day on Sunday in Inniskeen, but Rory Beggan still remains one of the most influential players in the country.

I still think that if the fly goalkeeper is an addition to a team, it is something that should be embraced. But everyone has to be on the one hymn sheet.

It’s important to remember that if you don’t have a goalkeeper that 1s comfortable on the ball, it is only a risk.

If you take a look at Beggan, Niall Morgan, Stephen Cluxton and now Odhrán Lynch, they are goalkeepers that have experience of playing outfield.

But having your goalkeeper outfield for the odd spell on the overlap needs a few other things to make it work.  Like any outfield player, they need space and an angled support run.

Oisin O’Neill’s handpass was intercepted in the move that led to Mayo taking the lead at the weekend.  It was like the one given to Beggan on Sunday that led to a Kerry goal – lateral, static, indecisive and dangerous.

The game is all about possession, but when a goalkeeper is out of goals, it adds uncertainty.  Don’t give it to them if they are not on the move going forward.  The moment the goalkeeper is static, it’s time to get out of dodge and back into nets.

Ethan Rafferty had an assist on the way to one of Armagh’s points.  For me, it is an exciting addition to the game and I’m sure there will be fingers pointed at more than Beggan at Monaghan training this week.

The fly goalkeeper will be here for the foreseeable future and we may get used to it.

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