Player managers need to improve: Craig - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Player managers need to improve: Craig

By Steve Larkin 20/08/2010 02:32:22 PM Comments (0)

AFL player managers need to improve their professionalism, Adelaide coach Neil Craig says.

Craig has questioned whether managers are providing accurate information to their players and clubs amid the new arrivals of two clubs, Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney.

Craig this week banned his star defender Nathan Bock from training or playing with the Crows after he announced his defection to Gold Coast.

And Port Adelaide officials are seething at Nathan Krakouer, whose manager has told the Power the half-back is leaving - without stating a destination.

Krakouer's departure was clouded by controversy: initially his manager told a Melbourne newspaper of the decision; then the player told Port he hadn't decided; before the manager later told the club he was leaving.

Craig praised Bock for his honesty in informing the Crows of his decision, but queried the impact of player managers.

"I was really pleased that Nathan put it on the table, which we asked our players to do if they had come to a conclusion," Craig said on Friday.

"So I was really pleased that he was able to do that for us, it enabled us to then handle it reasonably well, purely from our club's perspective.

"I think what is coming out, without being too specific, is that the managers of players need to spend some time with their players about how they handle themselves in the media.

"Because normally what happens in that situation, the player and the club work together and try to prepare something that is professional and you give good information.

"I'm not quite sure that has been the case on what I have seen so far.

"That is just my personal opinion.

"So I think that is putting the onus back on maybe the management of the players (they) need to have a look at that."

Bock was the first big name player to announce he would join the Gold Coast Suns, who enter the AFL next year.

Other players, including Geelong's Brownlow medallist and Western Bulldog Jarrod Harbrow, are rumoured to have agreed to join the Suns but are yet to inform their clubs.

Craig said his decision to immediately end Bock's career at the Crows, despite two games remaining, may have differed if Adelaide could make the finals.

"Our side is better with Nathan Bock in it," he said.

"But my decision on that, based on our situation, is that it's of no value for me to play Nathan Bock.

"(We) can't make the finals, which is the critical one for me, so why would I play Nathan Bock knowing that he's not going to be here next year?

"And he also feels a bit uncomfortable about playing, once he's made his decision, which I can understand.

"So I don't know why you play him."

Unlike other sports such as rugby league, AFL players have not announced mid season they were changing clubs.

But Craig forecast that to change with the future introduction of free agency.

"This is new to our sport so anything new, there is always resistance and some debate about what should happen, and loyalty, and I'm not saying whether it's right or wrong," he said.

"What I will say is in a few year's time, it probably won't even cause a ripple."

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