AFL 12 months ago

Bulldogs loving pre-finals AFL bye

  • Bulldogs loving pre-finals AFL bye

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Cats head coach Chris Scott speaks to Jimmy Bartel of the Cats in the huddle during the round 13 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Geelong Cats at Etihad Stadium on June 18, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Geelong coach Chris Scott expects the AFL's end-of-season bye experiment won't last beyond 2016.

The league, concerned with the trend of clubs resting players en masse in the final round, this year introduced a week off between the regular season and finals.

A recent poll revealed all 18 coaches are against the idea.

"My suspicion is this will be a one and only," Scott told Fox Footy.

"We'd prefer it wasn't there.

"The AFL's position was that they didn't want players rested en masse before the finals.

"I never saw the problem in that - the integrity issue.

"I know some of the key decision makers at the AFL love continuity in the season. This seems to be a lack of continuity at the most important time."

The fixture tweak means two sides will enter their preliminary final having played just one game in the past three weeks.

Many players, pundits and coaches have speculated that the reward of finishing in the top-four will be diminished as a result.

"It's going to be interesting to see what we do. We've got (Adelaide high performance guru) Brett Burton and the coaches already planning," Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker told Fox Footy.

"I'm sure most teams will probably train hard.

"Try to stimulate a bit of game awareness ... so your contact and physical stuff are up to speed when you need to play the week after."

The end-of-season bye is likely to be quite popular with some injured stars.

Western Bulldogs young gun Tom Liberatore and Hawthorn defender Ben Stratton are among the high-profile injured players hoping to return in week one of the finals.

0 0
please wait...