Help AFL strugglers with draw: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Help AFL strugglers with draw: Malthouse

By Sam Lienert and John Salvado 11/08/2011 05:43:00 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse wants shorter games and a fixture that favours the AFL's struggling clubs.

Both ideas are aimed at creating fewer lopsided matches, which Malthouse believes are boring fans and might prompt some players to switch to more successful clubs.

Even as the winner of numerous one-sided clashes this season, most recently by 138 points against Port Adelaide last weekend, the Magpies coach said such results hurt the league.

"I don't think one player got any joy (from that match)," Malthouse told reporters on Thursday.

"A humiliation of sorts in regards to the scoreline is something that I don't particularly like.

"You can't tell players to back off, but at halftime the game was won."

Malthouse suggested clubs that finished near the bottom should be drawn to play each other twice the following season.

He said the AFL's fixtures were currently based too much on promotional considerations, such as Geelong meeting Gold Coast twice, to pit Suns captain Gary Ablett against his former side.

"The draw doesn't do favours to football - I don't think so anyway," Malthouse said.

"We can do it better and if we worried about crowds, the closer the games the more people you're going to get there, if people have hope."

The three-time premiership coach would not mind if a revamped draw gave bolters such as last year's wooden spooners West Coast, who are pushing for a top-four berth this year, a leg-up.

He said while AFL players were professional enough to rebound from thrashings, some might be tempted to move elsewhere.

"Players want to play finals footy, they want to have the chance to play finals football," Malthouse said.

But the 28-season coach's suggestions were dismissed by AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou as an attempt to draw focus from the Magpies' favouritism for a second straight premiership.

"Mick's got to come out and smell the roses, be a bit happier," Demetriou said.

"He's sitting on top of the ladder, he's throwing out every diversionary tactic he can.

"Keep asking how they're travelling and how back-to-back's looking, because I think Mick needs to enjoy the game a bit more. I think he probably deep down is enjoying the game."

Demetriou acknowledged the fixture was "completely compromised" both because not all teams could meet twice and due to the need to work around locked-in blockbusters, such as Collingwood and Essendon's Anzac Day clash.

"If Mick wants to give up the Anzac Day game, If that's what he's saying, that Collingwood and Essendon don't play on Anzac Day, or (against Melbourne on the) Queen's Birthday, then come and see me, if that's what he's asking," Demetriou said.

"That's what the fixture is, it's a compromised fixture.

"But I think this is all a bit tongue in cheek and I repeat, anything to divert away from how good Collingwood are going, Mick will talk about."

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