- AFL captains reveal what they would do if they ran the AFL
- Zach Merrett says he would play football like he did in the 90s
- Patrick Cripps would have the decisive AFL game in the twilight
AFL captains have spoken about what they would change if they were in charge of the league for a day, and some of their answers are sure to leave football fans either delighted or outraged.
With just over a week left until football season, SEN asked several competing captains what they would do if they replaced CEO Andrew Dillon.
Essendon’s Zach Merrett spoke for many older fans when he said he would like to get back to the football of the 1990s.
“My way of doing it is to play 16 on 16, get rid of the rotations, take some players off the field and do it one on one,” he said.
‘Less training, less preseason and more games. Give the fans more of what they want.”
Bombers captain Zach Merrett says he would have less training, less preseason and more games to make football more like it was in the 1990s.
Magpies star Darcy Moore would tackle player fashion first if he were AFL chief executive for a day
Collingwood’s Darcy Moore brought up a sensitive point that many players have talked about in recent years.
“I would get rid of the media polos so you wouldn’t have to wear ugly polos with stickers all over them so the players could wear casual clothes to and from games,” Moore said.
Football stars got the chance to show off their sartorial taste in 2019 when the ill-fated preseason nine-man AFLX games took place, and players like Patrick Dangerfield are pushing for the right to do so more often.
Melbourne’s Max Gawn said he would like the ruck to be a “free-for-all” with no free kicks for rough play, before joking that he is not the best person to ask.
‘It wouldn’t really do much. “I’m not the right person to be chief executive of the AFL,” he said.
Carlton’s Patrick Cripps weighed in on the ongoing debate over whether the premiership decider should remain at its traditional 2.30pm AEST slot or have a later start, as pushed by Eddie McGuire.
“I don’t care that the grand final is a twilight (game),” he said.
Melbourne captain Max Gawn said he would make the ruck a ‘free-for-all’ with no free kicks awarded for foul play.
Patrick Cripps says he would make the AFL decider a sunset game if he were in charge, putting him squarely in the same camp as Eddie McGuire, who is a big fan of the concept.
“It might be a little controversial, but I think it would be the best time for it.”
Both Port Adelaide’s Connor Rozee and Fremantle’s Alex Pearce agreed that paying players more would be a good move.
Brisbane’s Harris Andrew and West Coast’s Oscar Allen thought play should continue if the ball bounces off the post.