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'Lame' response on game


Emma Quayle and Rohan Connolly

Neil Balme: "It's a bit hard to know who the AFL are trying to satisfy."

Neil Balme: "It's a bit hard to know who the AFL are trying to satisfy." Photo: Paul Rovere

The timing of the AFL's ''captain's pick'' game would prompt Heath Shaw to ''kindly decline'' any offer to play in the proposed pre-season finale.

The former Magpie now Greater Western Sydney Giant said that while he enjoyed playing for Victoria in a state of origin game, he would not like to risk his body in an exhibition match so close to the start of the season, joking that he would fake an injury rather than line up.

The AFL has considered the game between two all-star teams skippered by grand final captains Matthew Pavlich and Luke Hodge - revealed in The Age on Wednesday - as part of a revamped pre-season program.

''I'll be honest, I won't be putting my hand up to play seven days out from the start of the season,'' Shaw told 3AW on Wednesday. ''Obviously the focus is on round one and getting yourself right for round one … I'll kindly decline that offer if it ever comes to me.

''I'd just say I've got a bit of hamstring tightness and get the physio to back me up.''

Geelong football manager Neil Balme was sympathetic to the AFL's need to satisfy its sponsors and telecast partners, but he said it appeared the clubs and the players were some way down the list of ''people who are having a say''.

''To be fair to the AFL, they have been keen to consider things like the all-stars game or state of origin or some other kind of representative game, and I can understand how there might be some doubt as to what the best format will be,'' Balme said on SEN.

''It's a bit difficult, isn't it? It's a bit hard to know who the AFL are trying to satisfy. They've got to satisfy the gap that's not going to be there for the NAB Cup, so the sponsors probably want something and the televisers want something.''

One leading club chief executive said he was sceptical about players' supposed desire for a representative game. "What happens with these things is the players all say they want it, then before the game happens they start withdrawing from it."


  • this idea was that bad that you would be excused for thinking adrian anderson is still running the footy- up there with the post-it notes I reckon

    Date and time
    October 31, 2013, 7:16AM
    • Who would have the slightest interest in such an artificial and meaningless game? Come on can do better than that. Why not make the NAB cup be worth 4 points for the winner, and twp points for the runner up? Or reward the two teams that play off in the NAB cup by deeming that they also play off in the ANZAC day clash? Then I'll bet the NAB cup would be taken seriously.

      Frankston South
      Date and time
      October 31, 2013, 7:16AM
      • Good ideas you have there.

        Mr Environment
        Date and time
        October 31, 2013, 7:53AM
    • the only reason ch7 would want it is they realise that their usual programs are crap and will get better ratings with footy. But it is overkill of the code.

      Date and time
      October 31, 2013, 7:34AM
      • slowly but surely the game is losing its appeal and it will continue to do so. constant rule changes, TV ratings and sponsorships rank higher on the AFL Executive's needs than the needs of its fanbase.

        blood stained swan
        Date and time
        October 31, 2013, 8:21AM
        • If the AFL would put as much effort into having a fair competition with all teams playing each other on a home and away basis instead of putting forward these stupid ideas the game might progress. Of course to allow a fair competition they would have to get rid of a few Victorian teams and also the out of touch fools who dream up these ideas at AFL headquarters.

          Date and time
          October 31, 2013, 8:24AM
          • That would satisfy us purists. However, the AFL are not interested in the roots fans who stick it out for the whole season and attend the games. They are focussed on novelty to attract the casual viewer to a telecast so the TV channels can make more money from advertising.

            Bio Logical
            Date and time
            October 31, 2013, 1:21PM
        • Rightly so. Heath Shaw's on a good contract at GWS, and needs to get himself ready to play for the Giants.
          Players from other clubs aren't going to fly interstate and risk injury for Luke Hodge and Matthew Pavlich. Great players that they are, it's not a realistic expectation.

          Michael S
          Toongabbie, NSW
          Date and time
          October 31, 2013, 8:31AM
          • Not as Lame as Caro's response to the 12 other clubs found to have supplements governance issues after EFC copped the huge punishment for the same thing..

            Oh wait - she didn't respond at all.

            It will all have blown over by next season anyway

            Date and time
            October 31, 2013, 8:33AM
            • Pavlich was apparently promised that no more than two Fremantle players would be able to be selected, so that Fremantle wouldn't be disadvantaged by the timing of this farce. What's to stop the captains from deliberately selecting players from teams with a mind to disadvantaging those teams that they might see as their biggest rivals in the home and away season?

              This whole idea is one of the shonkiest that the current AFL hierarchy has come up with so far. If Demetriou is so desperate for a showcase match, why not turn the pre-season into a state of origin clash? It'd be more interesting than the round-robin aerial ping pong that was played at the beginning of this last season.

              Date and time
              October 31, 2013, 8:41AM

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