AFL 2 years ago

AFL players asked about artificial turf

  • AFL players asked about artificial turf

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 29: Jimmy Bartel of the Cats looks dejected after a loss during the 2016 AFL Round 10 match between the Carlton Blues and the Geelong Cats at Etihad Stadium on May 29, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The AFL Players Association has discussed possible solutions to the artificial turf at Etihad Stadium following Daniel Menzel's ankle injury.

The players union is concerned the issue is not being sorted out quickly enough and is demanding a better surface outside the Etihad Stadium field perimeter.

Menzel remains a chance to play for Geelong on Saturday after he injured his ankle while sliding across the artificial turf last weekend, and AFLPA executive member Jimmy Bartel said it was time for the game to find a solution.

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"I don't think players should have to put up with it," Bartel told SEN Breakfast on Thursday.

"We spoke about it last night and everyone formed the opinion that you shouldn't just accept it as it is and just have injuries.

"It seems to be an issue whenever someone gets hurt. And we don't want that to be the case of having to wait until someone gets hurt to solve problems."

Menzel isn't the first player to be caught up in drama surrounding the fake grass.

Brisbane forward Michael Close required a knee reconstruction and was ruled out for the remainder of the 2015 season after sliding outside the boundary in April.

Close and his lawyers are reportedly seeking compensation from the AFL for the injury, after an AFLPA expert deemed the artificial surface could have contributed to the incident.

While an AFL investigation has since rejected those claims and sought more tests on the surface, Bartel believes a better option must be available.

"I think in today's age we can find a better alternative that has a little bit more give in it than that style of astroturf," he said.

"It is like concrete and people saw how Dan Menzel hurt his ankle - he just slid across the top of it, like when you're running with footy boots on concrete.

"The NFL teams have indoor facilities with special astroturf.

"We're not asking for a whole field, just a small amount to replace the pretty hard stuff around the edges of Etihad and other stadiums in Australia."

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