Tanking scrutiny will stay: Worsfold - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tanking scrutiny will stay: Worsfold

By Roger Vaughan 09/08/2009 05:40:55 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold has lamented that whether the AFL's priority pick system stays or not, lower-placed clubs will always come under "tanking" scrutiny.

West Coast's upset win over Essendon last weekend meant they were no longer eligible for a priority draft pick, but before that match Worsfold had to routinely field questions about the subject.

The league is divided over whether to scrap priority picks, with some arguing they tempt bottom-placed clubs to not try, or "tank" games, near the end of the season.

"It will just be then that teams are going to play to finish lower and get pick three instead of pick four ... it will just change," Worsfold told Channel Seven's Game Day.

"It will still be `they're not trying this week, because ...'

"There will always be a way that people find a reason to say `they're not doing their best'."

Worsfold, the 2006 premiership coach and a fierce competitor when he captained the Eagles, said the tanking speculation irked him.

"It does (get me) a little bit, personally. It's going at the core of what you're about," he said.

"When you know you're not even considering that stuff, you've got no answer ... No one really listens to you.

"It is part of the game, we've got to wear that. There is a priority pick there and people can look at it any way they want.

"As long as I've been involved in the game, when teams can't make the finals, they start planning for the future."

Also on Sunday, Worsfold said he would not reverse the massive Chris Judd trade if somehow given the chance.

While losing Judd at the end of 2007 was a massive blow for the Eagles, Worsfold is rapt to have gained Josh Kennedy and Chris Masten.

Kennedy was among West Coast's best on Saturday in their shock win over the Western Bulldogs.

Asked if he would take Judd back for the two youngsters, Worsfold replied: "No."

Worsfold agrees that Kennedy, in particular, could be an AFL star.

"We were pretty confident at the time, that as much as we rated Chris Judd as the champion he is, to have Masten and Kennedy meant we had 10 to 12 years of great football to come out of those two," he said.

Worsfold also expressed unease about contacting Ben Cousins before Sunday's 250th-game milestone.

Cousins played 238 of those games at the Eagles before he was delisted, but he has made a successful comeback this year at Richmond.

"It's a funny one whether I touch base with him," Worsfold said.

"I've got a bit of a pact with him that when he joined Richmond, that my association with him is really away from football.

"I support him as a friend and help him in any way I can.

"I will text him probably after the game and congratulate him - I admire him for what he has achieved."

Meanwhile, Worsfold has again denied speculation that Daniel Kerr might leave the club, saying their priority was to make sure he is fit for next season.

An abdominal injury means Kerr will not play again this year.

"The big challenge for us is to get his body right, so he gets back to playing at the level he can play," Worsfold said.

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