Ciaran Whelan believes football is losing its edge and toughness

The former Dublin player stated that rule changes have made the game less physical

Ciaran Whelan, Mark, GAA,

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Ciaran Whelan has stated that the physicality and edge of football is on the wane as a result of a number of rule changes. 

The six-time Leinster Championship winner has said that the changes to the game have also made the modern midfielder redundant, in a way that simply didn't happen when he was playing. 

Speaking on RTÉ, Whelan said that while the sport has evolved, it is now "more about power, pace, speed, and midfielders are kind of redundant. They're trying to bring it back in, to bring in the mark, but that's not going to work.

"There's much less contact now, it's all about balance and skill and being lighter on your feet."

Whelan added that the rule changes, in particular with regard to the black card, have helped the game to become less physical, which has also relegated the midfielder to a more reserved role. 

"GAA has lost the run of itself as well," he added. "You give someone an accidental clip and you're black-carded and your game is over. It's evolved and that toughness, that playing on the edge, has kind of gone out of it, similar to soccer.

"But what's happening in GAA now is that the yellow card and the black card rule is encouraging people to stand off a little bit more. They're not tackling as hard as they had done in the past."