Infotainment Factory: AFL great whacks coaches over runners rule

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Wednesday, 24 July 2019

AFL great whacks coaches over runners rule


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Geelong legend Jimmy Bartel has hit out at suggestions that the AFL might loosen its restrictions on runners, calling on teams to pick "smarter footballers".

A rule change ahead of the 2019 season placed restrictions on runners, limiting the amount of time they are able to spend on the ground to relay coaches messages.

Several coaches have complained about the restrictions, and as a result, AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking revealed that the league is looking to find a middle ground.

However, according to Bartel, with the amount of time coaches have with players during the week, there should be no confusion about game plans.

"I'm completely against this," he told Macquarie Sports Radio.

Steve Hocking

"I know coaches are a lot wiser and smarter and have been in the game longer than I have, and they see it better than I do, but seriously what are you doing during the week?

"There's 10 coaches. There's that amount of video and data. They sit in meetings. You have pre-season for three months and you've got access to them for five and a half days a week.

"You really need that much control? Pick smarter footballers. That should be part of your recruiting and your list-management structure.

"I need a guy who can actually work his way through half way through the first quarter after we've spoken about it four times during the week.

"You've got to run out and tell him where to stand?"

John Longmire

Bartel's comments came after Sydney Swans coach John Longmire said the restrictions handicapped young teams, while Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan has also complained during the season.

"We've got young kids out there that are running around … trying to think about everything in the game, including just trying to get their hands on the footy, plus doing the rotations themselves and trying to think through some (tough) situations," he said.

"It clearly is not going to change before the end of the year, so we just have to deal with it and make sure our players learn from it. And they'll learn from it pretty quickly.

"I'd love it to (be brought back to) what it was but I'm not sure (the AFL will) say they were wrong.

"I just hope some sanity prevails because coaches aren't there completely to ruin the game and when you've got a really young team, you'd like to be able to help them a bit."

Geelong legend Jimmy Bartel has hit out at suggestions that the AFL might loosen its restrictions on runners, calling on teams to pick "smarter footballers".

A rule change ahead of the 2019 season placed restrictions on runners, limiting the amount of time they are able to spend on the ground to relay coaches messages.

Several coaches have complained about the restrictions, and as a result, AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking revealed that the league is looking to find a middle ground.

However, according to Bartel, with the amount of time coaches have with players during the week, there should be no confusion about game plans.

"I'm completely against this," he told Macquarie Sports Radio.

Steve Hocking

"I know coaches are a lot wiser and smarter and have been in the game longer than I have, and they see it better than I do, but seriously what are you doing during the week?

"There's 10 coaches. There's that amount of video and data. They sit in meetings. You have pre-season for three months and you've got access to them for five and a half days a week.

"You really need that much control? Pick smarter footballers. That should be part of your recruiting and your list-management structure.

"I need a guy who can actually work his way through half way through the first quarter after we've spoken about it four times during the week.

"You've got to run out and tell him where to stand?"

John Longmire

Bartel's comments came after Sydney Swans coach John Longmire said the restrictions handicapped young teams, while Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan has also complained during the season.

"We've got young kids out there that are running around … trying to think about everything in the game, including just trying to get their hands on the footy, plus doing the rotations themselves and trying to think through some (tough) situations," he said.

"It clearly is not going to change before the end of the year, so we just have to deal with it and make sure our players learn from it. And they'll learn from it pretty quickly.

"I'd love it to (be brought back to) what it was but I'm not sure (the AFL will) say they were wrong.

"I just hope some sanity prevails because coaches aren't there completely to ruin the game and when you've got a really young team, you'd like to be able to help them a bit."

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