Essendon's Knights attacks Lloyd's book - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Essendon's Knights attacks Lloyd's book

24/07/2011 08:08:55 PM Comments (0)

Former Essendon captain Matthew Lloyd refused to play on in the 2010 AFL season because he lacked the courage to back himself to stay in the senior team, ex-coach Matthew Knights says.

Lloyd's new autobiography Straight Shooter is highly critical of Knights, who took the opportunity to hit back on Sunday.

"He wanted to be the pea, and that's all good and well because he had been for his whole career, and I can understand that he's run the whole show," Knights said.

"Matthew's idea of flexibility is to run the show in the forward line and the ability to push people out of the way to set up his own scenario."

According to a report on the afl.com.au website, Knights told 774 ABC Radio that he had given Lloyd every chance to play on in 2010.

"Matthew Lloyd had the choice to play on and I think 99 out of 100 people would have taken that choice," Knights said.

"In the end I don't think he had the courage to back himself in and I think he might have done himself out of another two or three years of football."

Knights contrasted Lloyd's team ethic with that of Essendon defender Dustin Fletcher, who is still playing good football at 36.

"Dustin Fletcher has shown that ... but Dustin taps into the team role, and Lloydy is a very different animal," Knights said.

Knights also blasted Lloyd for making team information public.

"When you're a coach and when you're a captain you virtually take an oath that that stays in the inner sanctum, that's not public consumption," he said.

"As a coach you take that to your grave, and that's something I'm pretty passionate about.

"The fact that Lloydy decided to write a book to make some dollars doesn't cut it with me."

Knights, who was sacked as coach after three years and replaced by James Hird for the 2011 season, said he took issue with several facts in Lloyd's book.

"If the facts are skewiff, which a number of them are, then I should have a right of reply," he said.

"In regards to the facts of his autobiography, a lot of it is way off the mark."

Lloyd said in his book he had constant disagreements with Knights, who wanted his star forward to play further up the ground.

The left-footer, who booted 926 goals in 270 games, felt he didn't want to risk ending his career playing VFL for the Bendigo Bombers.

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