Dubs recruit basketball coach
Dublin football boss Jim Gavin has recruited a top basketball coach in an effort to help his players beat the 'blanket defence'
Mark Ingle, who is one of Ireland's best-known basketball coaches, has been working for months with the Dublin squad according to a report in the Sun newspaper today.
During the winter months members of the Dublin squad played games of basketball and worked on drills to get the ball to the team's best player.
Ingle was named women's underage basketball Coach of the Year for the 2010-2011 season for his work with DCU Mercy.
Gaelic football's 'blanket defence' has its origins in basketball where players swarm back once they surrender possession. In modern day Gaelic football it is now a common sight to see forwards sprinting back into their own half once their team lose possession.
Coincidentally Dublin midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley came to Gaelic football via basketball and remains a keen student of the game.
Under Jim Gavin Dublin pioneered an adventurous, attacking style of Gaelic football which secured them the 2013 All-Ireland title.
However, they came unstuck in last year's All-Ireland semi-final when they 'ambushed' by Donegal who deployed an ultra-defensive game plan.
In the current League Dublin has had to cope with similar tactics in their games against both Tyrone and Derry - they scored a late goal to draw with Tyrone and eventually overcame the challenge of Derry in a woeful match last Saturday night.
But the news that the GAA's glamour team has recruited a basketball coach will be greeted with dismay traditionalists already alarmed at the state of the game.