Emergency system needs improving: Scott - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Emergency system needs improving: Scott

By Sam Lienert 25/07/2010 01:45:51 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says the AFL should be able to find a better system for late injury-forced team changes, after the Kangaroos were severely handicapped against Essendon on Saturday night.

The Kangaroos went down 18.14 (122) to 18.11 (119) at Etihad Stadium, after a pre-game injury crisis, which resulted in three late changes.

Defenders Nathan Grima (quad) and Daniel Pratt (hamstring) were the initial withdrawals, replaced by Ben Speight and Leigh Harding.

Midfielder Daniel Wells then injured a quad as the match was about to start, creating chaos given the remaining emergency, ruckman David Hale, had played VFL on Saturday afternoon and the Kangaroos wanted to field the fresh Nathan O'Keefe instead.

After consulting AFL officials at the ground, Scott said it took until 10 minutes into the match to be told they would be fined $20,000 fine if O'Keefe played.

"They took 10 minutes to work it out, The answer was 'we'll call you back'," Scott said.

"I did make them aware that there was a game going at that stage and we were one short."

Scott said it was "farcical" that with the VFL on an unrelated schedule, they had to either risk a player playing two games in a day, or risk multiple players not playing either game.

"I'm well aware of the rules, Hale was our third emergency, but how many emergencies do you hold over?" he said.

"We've got this farcical situation where the VFL have a completely different schedule ... we can't hold them all over.

"So we held two over, we used them and then we had a third in Hale who got to the game from the North Ballarat game and they forced us to use him.

"They forced us to play him eight quarters, or actually seven and a half by the time they made the decision."

Scott said there had to be a way the AFL could provide more leeway.

"There can't be any grey area in those rules, but I'm not sure that the system works perfectly at the moment," he said.

The loss could prove fatal to the Kangaroos' finals hopes, with tough matches against the Western Bulldogs, Fremantle and St Kilda to follow.

Scott said he was more interested in the quality of football his side produced than where they finished.

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