AFL coaching about 'innovation, not age' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL coaching about 'innovation, not age'

By Roger Vaughan 31/07/2008 06:03:06 PM Comments (0)

Impending first-time grandfather Mick Malthouse is adamant innovation, not age, determines the use-by date of an AFL coach.

The two-time premiership coach, who turns 55 next month, and Brisbane's Leigh Matthews, 56, were the subjects of a comment piece this week from former coach Robert Walls.

The Magpies and Lions are currently struggling and Walls wondered whether Malthouse and Matthews, who has earnt four flags as a coach, were keeping pace with the trends in the modern game.

"One of the fundamental things about coaching is that when you win the game of football, you've got to share the spoils," Malthouse said.

"When you lose a game of football, you've got to understand the buck does stop with the senior coach, but we all share it.

"You're only as young as you're prepared to be with your staff and your players and how innovative you are yourself.

"I don't think there's a time bracket."

Asked if Walls' comments had fired him up, Malthouse laughed and replied "far from it".

Malthouse said he had not read the article, but a Collingwood assistant coach had filled him in on the details.

"I could say a lot of things, but what's the point? Just move on - sometimes it says more about the author than it does about the subject," Malthouse said.

"I'm not going to get into a slinging match with Robert Walls, I've always admired Robert."

What concerns Malthouse much more is that the Magpies have won only two of their last six matches and will play third-placed Hawthorn on Friday night at the MCG.

The last time these two sides met, the Hawks belted Collingwood by 65 points in round seven.

Collingwood trailed by 25 points at three-quarter time in that game and Malthouse said the `Pies had tried a few different things.

But he conceded they needed the planets to align to have any chance in the last term.

Instead, Hawthorn kicked 10 goals to three.

"Hawthorn are a side that if you give them the football - and they're going to get their fair share of the footy ... they're going to give (forwards Jarryd Roughead and Lance Franklin) the opportunity to monster you," he said.

"That's what happened in the last quarter, the last time we played, so we've just got to make sure we don't give them the opportunity."

Essendon upset the Magpies by eight goals last Saturday, but Malthouse said the Bombers were one of the league's in-form sides over the last month.

He was terse when asked if his team was off the boil, noting key players such as Anthony Rocca and Josh Fraser had been injured.

"Unless we point it out, it's always lack of form or your side's gone backwards," Malthouse said.

"Are we off the boil? We're playing some good football sides, we're also trying to do it without some of our key players."

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