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    Fremantle coach Ross Lyon: stop trying to change our game

    Date

    Tom Atkinson

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    Ross Lyon says statistics are misleading and footy doesn't need more changes.

    Ross Lyon says statistics are misleading and footy doesn't need more changes. Photo: Pat Scala

    Stop trying to change our game.

    That’s the simple message from Fremantle Coach Ross Lyon, after the idea of a zoning system to ease congestion was floated earlier in the week by former Eagles coach John Worsfold.

    The Dockers coach told Radio 6PR's Sports Today program that enough was enough and it was time to leave the game alone.

    “My view is our unique and magnificent game that it is, has survived a lot of challenges and evolved. Everyone focuses on the negatives to be frank," Lyon said.

    “It's transitional. Anyone who thinks there is 36 players in half the ground for the whole game is kidding themselves.”

    “There’s a lot of negativity but I think a lot of people thrive on that in this business”

    Worsfold, who now sits on the AFL Rules committee, said the idea could see a line drawn down the middle of ground, forcing teams to leave two or three players in one half of the ground at all times.

    “I’m not too sure who is pushing the agenda of all this congestion all I know is lots of goals are getting kicked” Lyon said.

    “On the weekend Tex Walker kicked five goals while Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippet were on fire for the Swans.”

    Lyon admits players are often forced to push up the ground to man up on opposition but says this is just one of many constantly evolving tactics.

    “The hardest thing is when it gets in a team's forward-50 and they have a stoppage, they lock it in there," Lyon said.

    “If your forwards sit back there’s six defenders up in front of them and when your midfielders look up all they see is the opposition. That’s the press.”

    In discussing the weekend win over the Western Bulldogs Lyon was blunt in his assessment of the value of statistics..

    “I did quantitative studies at uni and they gave me a book - Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics," he said.

    The Dockers were smashed in the inside-50 count 67 to 41 but managed to kick seven more goals.

    Lyon said that discrepancy was not overly worrying.

    “We had more entries against Sydney and lost. So there’s always a balance," Lyon said.

    “If it was more entries you win games, everyone would just be bombing it in but it doesn’t work like that. The Eagles have had lots of entries than their opposition at times [and lost]. I wish it was as simple as that but it’s not.”

    Fremantle hosts Adelaide at home on Saturday looking for their third win in a row and with a healthy percentage it could see them jump into the top-four.

    The Crows sit just outside the top-eight with five wins and five losses after stirring victory over the Suns.

    “The Crows are a reflection on the competition and how even it is, I talked about it earlier in the year and I want to acknowledge the evenness of the competition again” Lyon said.

    “They [Adelaide] up and about so it’s going to be a big challenge.”

    34 comments

    • thank god the coaches collectively are all stating this now.

      hopefully Gillan actually listens unlike Vlad.

      If they change it anymore, we should simply boycott attending, and cancel foxtel subscriptions for an entire month of 2015 - they will listen then.

      Commenter
      matty
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      June 04, 2014, 1:37PM
      • Are you serious? AFL's turned into a type of rugby with never ending stoppages and times when you can throw a blanket over all the players on the ground. As a spectacle it has diminished hugely. Coaches don't care, they simply want to win and keep their jobs so they make defensive claims such as Lyon's. The game is losing its spectacle and is not what it is - if we have to force players to stay back in a zone and not play their boring "stacks on the mill" they do now, so be it. Don't be naive and assume all change is bad.

        Commenter
        Elijah Baley
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        June 04, 2014, 7:21PM
      • Yeah, leave it to the coaches to have sole rights on changing the game.
        How about they start by agreeing to eradicate cheating and conning from the game.
        Then I start thinking they have the best interests of the game at heart.

        In the meantime, cut interchange rotations to the bone and get rid of the runner.

        Commenter
        Village Green
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        June 04, 2014, 11:43PM
    • I think the Ross Lyon style of football is boring and reminds me more of an old school Rugby running maul
      Ross and Co have made football a game I no longer enjoy watching
      Were is the flow on excitement of yesteryear instead we have teams playing keepings off and taggers destroying what was once a great game instead of zones why not stop teams kicking back into the defensive 50 as a start
      Bring in laws to outlaw taggers

      Commenter
      arithehun
      Location
      perth
      Date and time
      June 04, 2014, 1:39PM
      • I love the folks complaining about the Lyon style game from a years back who haven't noticed the changes he has constantly made to team structures in recent years including adding a multiple attacking style on goal resulting in high scoring contests. Wake up!

        I wish we would all stop taking about changing the rules but the AFL have done it so consistently over the past decade that now everyone thinks the rule changes are a natural part of the game.

        Commenter
        Peter
        Date and time
        June 04, 2014, 2:15PM
      • you are not a freo supporter then by these comments!!! footy has evolved and will keep evolving with or with out lyon,malthouse,longmire or roos. geelong play similar footy when they can... taggers have been in footy since day dot and will till the game finishes if your team has a good one why not use them every team has one or two but some are better than others.

        Commenter
        paul
        Date and time
        June 04, 2014, 6:46PM
    • The AFL game is a product of commercial interests and strategy overriding player flair. If you don't like where the AFL is going, then there is still the state level competition VFL, SANFL, WAFL, etc without all the back room hangers on and strategists. Plus the added bonus of cheaper tickets, food and a sense of community.

      Commenter
      bio logical
      Location
      perth
      Date and time
      June 04, 2014, 1:40PM
      • I am with you man. The AFL is now an entertainment product more than a sport. I get so much more enjoyment from local footy especially now that AFL tactics and the fatigue it causes to players have reduced the difference in the spectical of the game at professional level compared to state league or even communit level footy.

        Commenter
        real footy fan
        Date and time
        June 04, 2014, 3:02PM
      • Yep Local footy is the winner in all, I gave up going to AFL games long ago and only occasionally watch it on TV and i'm a Geelong supporter who have some great success in recent times, but even watching them is no really enjoyable due to all these rules changes etc, Much prefer to head down to a local ground, purchase a couple of reasonably priced beers a warm pie, support the local community, let the boy have a kick on the oval and enjoy watching a game it used to be....

        Commenter
        Neddysmith
        Date and time
        June 04, 2014, 3:58PM
      • In full agreement it is more enjoyable watching under 16 play than watching AFL, but every time they play with the rules someone works it to there advantage so now we have a situation were either it is 4000 possessions to go 10 meters or the good players are sat on so they wont get the ball thank you Ross and Paul they have made the game unrecognisable all I can say is thank god for teams like Port and the Cats why not make sure that taggers are umpired out of the game

        Commenter
        Arithehun
        Location
        Perth
        Date and time
        June 04, 2014, 4:26PM

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