O'Shea tackles tough new rule

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 July, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 July, 1998, 12:00am

Instant-Dict captain Tim O'Shea has called on referees to be consistent when applying FIFA's controversial new tackle-from-behind rule in the coming season.

O'Shea, who started pre-season training with his Dickies teammates earlier this week, said it was 'crucial' that local referees were agreed on what constituted a red-card tackle from behind.

'Every one saw what happened at the World Cup. You had different referees interpreting the law differently from match to match . . . we should be looking to avoid that sort of situation here,' O'Shea told Sports Post.

'Basically there are two sorts of tackle from behind: the kind where the tackler goes straight through the back of the man and is nowhere near the ball, and the other kind where somebody makes a clumsy challenge but doesn't get the ball.

'The better referees were able to tell the difference at the World Cup. I hope we will see that here, but the most important thing is that the referees are consistent. If it's different from match to match it's going to be hard work for the players.' Instant began training this week with something of a new-look squad. The departures of goalkeeper Mick Leonard and last season's top goalscorer Paul Foster have diminished the expatriate contingent, and O'Shea admitted that this year would be a season of 'transition'.

'It's going to be a different type of season,' O'Shea said. 'It's probably the least experienced squad we've had since I've been at the club.

'The management have decided to bring young players into the squad and it will be up to the more senior professionals to do our bit to bring them on. I'm sure the new boys who have come in are talented, but we are all going to have to work very hard. South China have made some good signings and by the look of them they are going to be very strong.' Instant are planning to take their mandatory Hong Kong Football Association fitness test on August 1 to have as much time as possible to prepare for their Asian Cup-Winners' Cup tie with Japan's Jubilo Iwata towards the end of the month.