Premiership winning Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says the AFL’s new medical substitute rule was “hastily rushed through” and has slammed the league‘s hierarchy over a lack of consultation with clubs.
Despite reports the coaches were unanimous in their support for the new rule, which was only confirmed on Wednesday, Beveridge said he “had nothing to do with it.”
Beveridge said his club’s medical staff were still “none the wiser” about the operational aspect of the rule and the Bulldogs would need an “11th hour|’ meeting to get on top of it.
For those reasons, and the “extra layers” of decision-making it will add to football departments already stripped by cuts to the soft-cap, Beveridge said he didn’t support the new rule.
“It’s been rushed through. Even yesterday our medical staff hadn’t been briefed and are none the wiser on the operation aspect of it,” Beveridge said on Thursday.
“When you have the whole medical establishment not being briefed and going in to the competition, it’s just been rushed.
“What this sub now cerates is a whole series of headaches. Not only do decisions need to be mad o n the day, but then the doctors will have to substantiate whether or not a player can play next week.
“And with the soft cap cuts and everyone doing more than they ever have before, and the meetings with consideration of who it might be, imagine the turmoil within the playing ranks .. .does he miss out now on two or three opportunities to be in the tea because he hasn’t played ?
“There are so many considerations and I could keep going.
“From my point of view its disappointing the decision has been hasty and this is the course they went when there were so many other options that wouldn’t have created the layers and headaches that this is going to create.”
Beveridge said he wasn’t party to the decision-making process and the rule was introduced “out of the blue”.
“I had nothing to do with it. I don’t support it,” he said.
He said if the AFL was concerned about concussion and injuries it could have pulled “other levers’.
Beveridge even threw up the idea of a fifth player on the interchange because he felt the sub rule create an “inequity”.
“If you lose a player at the start of the game, you are probably worse off because the sub wasn’t in your best 22,” he said.
“If we get to three-quarter time and you have an injury or concussion and can introduce a new player, you have an advantage, you get a fresh player.
“If we are really, really concerned with the risk about concussion and the impact on the body … I think we could have pulled other levers.
“It’s all very rushed.”
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