Demetriou douses recruitment criticism - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demetriou douses recruitment criticism

By Chris Lines 25/11/2003 03:27:10 PM Comments (0)

The AFL has defended its appointment of an unheralded lawyer to run football operations, with chief executive Andrew Demetriou scotching suggestions he is surrounded by "yes men".

Adrian Anderson, 31, has been confirmed as the replacement for Demetriou, who had moved up to the CEO role after the retirement of Wayne Jackson.

Over 200 applications were made for the football operations job - including some club chief executives - but Demetriou overlooked them all to hand-pick Anderson, who had not applied.

Anderson's football experience amounted to playing and coaching at amateur level, but it was his expertise in media and sports law as a partner with firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth that won him the key AFL role.

Anderson had importantly also been an advisor to the AFL Players' Association when Demetriou was running the union.

However, he will fill a diminished football operations job, with responsibility for fixturing switched to the new role of general manager of broadcasting, strategy and major projects.

That job will be taken by former AFL commercial operations manager Ben Buckley, a close mate of Demetriou, while Jackson executive members Gillon McLachlan, Ian Anderson and Tony Peek also won new roles as part of the reshuffle.

However, Demetriou denied a "jobs for the boys" approach at AFL House.

"It's not a closed shop," Demetriou said.

"It's not about any personal agendas, it's about what's right for football, what's right for this organisation.

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