Change AFL draft: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Change AFL draft: Malthouse

By Adam Cooper 24/05/2003 06:16:33 AM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has attacked the AFL draft system and how it has advantaged St Kilda, saying it's open to manipulation and rewards mediocrity.

Again describing the current system as "socialist communism" and "Animal Farm revisited", Malthouse said he knew of officials who preferred to lose games late in the season to secure early draft picks.

And in a broadside, he said Fremantle and St Kilda should finish top-four this season because of their string of early picks in recent years.

Malthouse stressed teams did not throw games, but said he had heard of instances where officials went "behind a coach's back to ensure we don't win the last couple of games."

"Don't get me wrong on this, you don't set it up," he said.

"What it is, is that when you get to your fifth victory and there's one or two games left, I've had officials who have got nothing to do with the football side who would rather them finish bottom and not win another game than win another game and finish second-bottom because there's a (Brendon) Goddard or a (Nick) Riewoldt out there.

"(Brisbane coach) Leigh Matthews hit it on the head - you're better off finishing bottom than finishing ninth because it simply gives you the advantage of the system the AFL has laid down."

St Kilda has snared Riewoldt, Justin Koschitzke, Luke Ball and Goddard in successive years under the present system, which awards the bottom side first pick and grants concession picks to sides which win five games or less.

"If you're going to regularly have first, second or third picks or up to your second pick being 16th, 17th or 18th (selections) then you're going to have the quality pick of Australian talent," Malthouse said.

"So that being the fact you would expect that Fremantle and St Kilda really should be finishing in the top four or five this year, they've had enough time at it."

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