Eade joins call for AFL tanking action - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eade joins call for AFL tanking action

By Sam Lienert and Justin Chadwick 18/06/2008 07:32:01 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade has backed calls for the AFL to step in to remove the blight of tanking suspicions from the competition.

While Eade was among several coaches who said they had no evidence of clubs ever giving less than their best efforts, he said the fact there was a widespread public suspicion to the contrary was in itself a concern.

"Whether there is tanking or not, and I don't think anyone can really assess that, I don't think it's that clear-cut, I think it's more a perception," Eade said.

"And if the perception's out there ... you'd certainly think the AFL could probably look at it."

"I know (AFL football operations manager) Adrian Anderson has said nobody's going to get a (pre-draft) priority pick this year.

"But then you could say if there's four teams with less than four (wins) this year they get (a priority pick) in the second round.

"It's a reasonable draft and teams are jockeying for first pick versus fourth pick.

"So is first pick going to be better ... compared to pick three or four? Probably."

Eade's comments came after Bulldogs player Jason Akermanis criticised league officials on Tuesday for failing to tackle the issue.

Akermanis said coaches of lower-ranked sides used the way they positioned their players to lose matches late in the season.

"I don't really want to tell you how I know that, but I do know that," he said.

"If the AFL think it's not happening ... they have put their head in the sand."

Carlton came under suspicion at the end of last season after they lost their last 11 matches to qualify for a priority pick at the national draft, their third No.1 pick in as many years.

Blues coach Brett Ratten, who took charge for the final six games last year and repeatedly denied tanking accusations during that period, conceded the issue was set to become an annual talking point.

"I think it might be the new fad," Ratten said.

"I suppose we get to round 11 or 12 and if you're down in the bottom two or three watch out because I think this will just happen every year, it will just go on and on and on."

West Coast coach John Worsfold also angrily denied his club would ever set out to lose a game.

The 15th-placed Eagles came under the microscope after three premiership midfielders - Daniel Kerr, Michael Braun and Chad Fletcher - were left out with minor injuries from the side that lost to fellow struggler Essendon last Friday night.

"It certainly shouldn't be directed at our football club because we are here to win games, that's our only aim ever," Worsfold said.

"I don't really care why it was sparked because it's false.

"It just doesn't happen to our club so it's really no issue to me.

"(I'm) not interested where it's come from, why it's around. It has absolutely nothing to do with our football club."

Worsfold suggested public suspicions were not a strong enough reason for the AFL to change the draft system.

"If they want to change everything they do according to people's perceptions they are going to be pretty busy," he said.

"The AFL, from my experience, have made decisions on changing things that are going to be better for the game and I think the game's in good shape."

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