Eade has plan to stop zoning in AFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eade has plan to stop zoning in AFL

By Sam Lienert 04/03/2009 05:24:58 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade will submit a plan to the AFL to stop the game continuing down a path towards what he fears is a robotic, defence-oriented style.

Eade said it was clear the full-field zone was about to become a dominant part of the sport, meaning more unattractive matches full of teams chipping sideways and handballing more often, but not scoring many goals.

"That's the worrying trend as a lover of the game," Eade said on Wednesday.

"This is nothing to do with Western Bulldogs or coaching the team, us as coaches and clubs we want to win games so we're going to do what we can to win games, there's no doubt about that.

"But I think there's a greater (issue) here as well which is the game and the aesthetics of the game.

"I just wouldn't like to see it be a totally defensive game where we chip and we go sideways and people turn off and they don't turn up any more."

While the Bulldogs coach refused to publicly outline what rule changes he wanted, he will put his ideas to the AFL.

"I've got an idea how it could be solved," Eade said.

"I don't know if it's got any holes in it, it probably has, but I'll talk to the powers that be and put my thoughts down on paper."

With Hawthorn having instigated the zone and used it effectively in winning last year's premiership, all clubs are expected to follow suit this season.

There were similar fears over the flooding style used by Sydney to win the 2005 premiership, which were countered when Geelong stormed to the 2007 flag with a fast-flowing, direct style.

But Eade is less optimistic that football's latest fad will be countered by the innovation of coaches without AFL intervention.

"I've got concerns that I don't think this will evolve, I think we may be stuck with this for a while," he said.

"It's going back to (being coach) controlled - you go in this position, you stand here, this is what you do, so you take the instinctive out of the game.

"That's why our game is so good, it's not like the other games where each player's got one role to play and they know their role and they end up being a robot.

"Our game is not like that, everyone's multi-dimensional, multi-skilled and you'd hate to take that out of the game."

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