AFL pick system not all positive: Anderson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL pick system not all positive: Anderson

Roger Vaughan 02/08/2011 05:54:29 PM Comments (0)

The AFL remain steadfast in their denial that "tanking" has taken place, but acknowledge there can be an image problem with the priority picks system.

The issue of tanking dramatically returned to the game's agenda on Monday after comments from sacked Melbourne coach Dean Bailey at his media conference.

While Bailey said his players had always tried, he admitted to coaching for draft picks in his first two seasons at Melbourne.

AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson said he contacted Bailey directly to discuss the comments.

There is a widespread perception that some teams at the bottom of the ladder in the past few seasons have "tanked" - not tried to win games - to maximise the chance of securing priority draft picks.

"What he indicated to me is it's all about development and playing players in different positions and also getting draft picks into the club, when players like Brock McLean and Cameron Bruce etc left," Anderson told Melbourne radio station SEN.

"His players at all times were trying and, yes, he was with a young list.

"As most clubs would do at the end of a season when they're no longer in the race, (they) try to get the most out of players, find out things about what they can about what positions they can play.

"Also in terms of selection, (it's) having a look at guys ... for the future of the club, what might be their future."

Well before Bailey's comments, the AFL had decided to review the priority pick system at the end of this season.

Anderson conceded there was a potential image problem with the system.

"From talking to Dean, it seemed pretty clear that he was doing what you'd expect most clubs to do," Anderson said.

"The fact we have a draft has been a great thing for the competition.

"What it also does do is bring into play the situation where there's an advantage for finishing lower sometimes at the end of the year.

"On balance, the draft has been a great thing for the competition, but there's no doubt it's not all positive."

Anderson added there was a fine line between tanking and trying to develop a young team.

"It's quite a difficult one - what some people call tanking ... is actually in a lot of ways what you'd expect a team to be able to try to do with a developing list," he said.

"He (Bailey) was saying it was all in the category of the development etc - his players were always trying and (there was) never any intent to lose."

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