Hall of Fame game underestimated: Eade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hall of Fame game underestimated: Eade

By Robert Grant 08/05/2008 03:51:37 PM Comments (0)

The desire of AFL players to be part of Saturday's Hall of Fame game has been vastly underestimated, according to Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade.

Eade said players from every club, even those with injuries, were anxious to take part in the game which pits Victoria against a Dream Team at the MCG.

"I think the public and media underestimated the actual pull of the game," Eade said.

"I think all players have said really that they do want to play, there's a real passion for them to be out on the stage."

Brisbane's Jonathan Brown, Eagle ruckman Dean Cox and Bulldog star Adam Cooney were all prepared to line up despite nagging problems, he said.

"I think if you don't want to take any risks that's fine but what Jonathan has said, and Dean Cox and Adam as well, even though they're carrying some injuries, they really do want to play."

Eade said he had encouraged his players to take part rather than shelter them from possible injury and would only have withdrawn Cooney if he had a more serious problem.

"Only if he's carrying an injury, which he has been for a few weeks but from all accounts it has improved," Eade said.

"I spoke to Adam this morning and he's pretty keen to play. As I said all along to him if he's right he should play.

"For all younger players who haven't experienced it, State of Origin footy is a great experience.

"It will certainly be great for Ryan Griffen, it will be great for (fellow Bulldogs) Daniel Cross (and) Robert Murphy's desperate to play.

"Even (Richmond forward) Matthew Richardson, who has played before and is 32, is really keen to play so I think people have underestimated the pull of getting on the big stage."

Eade said a similar interstate match should be slotted into the AFL calendar regularly, but not every year.

"My first response is yes, but obviously there has got to be other things taken into account, the draw and timing and all those sort of things," he said.

"The AFL have mentioned in the past that whether it's once every two years or three years, it's terrific.

"Maybe every year it loses its lustre a bit but every two or three years, I think it would be great," he said.

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