Malcolm Blight's major gripe about modern AFL

AFL coaches are squeezing the skill from the modern game and making life ever tougher for players, newly anointed Legend Malcolm Blight says.

Malcolm Blight's major gripe about modern AFL

Malcolm Blight's major gripe about modern AFL

As a result, he fears the AFL is becoming too similar to the rugby codes.

"We have got to be careful when you get 36 players in an eighth of the ground," Blight told reporters on Wednesday, a day after being declared an official Legend of the game.

"I don't reckon that was our game.

"I just reckon we have got to be careful we don't become rugby (league) and we don't become rugby union - they're great games, let them stay there.

Blight in his heyday. Image: Getty

"We should keep our space. Space is what makes our game on the ground better.

"We can show our skills, and I just think at the moment the players are being hard done by, the way the game is perhaps being coached and the way it's going.

"They're not being able to display their skills but learning more how to tackle. And I don't think that is the way the game should go."

Blight in 2001. Image: Getty

Blight celebrated his Legend status in subdued fashion, enjoying a few red wines with fellow inductees.

"Just quietly headed back to the hotel and just sat down with a few of the inductees and had a little sip," he said.

The premiership player and coach, who won South Australia's Magarey Medal and Victoria's Brownlow Medal, said ranking the honour was impossible.

"It's one of those things you don't expect," he said.

"I never thought Legend status changed much in the Hall of Fame point of view but I guess the perception is you probably did okay at the game.

"It's just so hard to answer."

Blight joins 26 others as official Legends, while six others were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Tuesday night.

Former umpire Brett Allen, ex-Adelaide captain and current Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin, South Australian great John Halbert, St Kilda, Sydney and Western Bulldogs forward Barry Hall, North Melbourne stalwart Anthony Stevens and Collingwood's Ron Todd were inducted.

Hall revealed in his acceptance speech he was still affected by the 2008 Brent Staker incident, when he dropped his opponent with a vicious behind-play punch.

"I do a lot of speaking stuff and guys like to be guys and say 'ah, that was great'. It's just a load of crap, it wasn't great," Hall told the function.

"I'm a father now and I don't want my boy seeing his dad do that.

"Brent Staker has to live with that. I'm sure if his mates are like mine, they remind him every day about it, maybe in a light-hearted way.

"But he has to live through that. People he doesn't know will be reminding him of it, so that does bother me.

"I've apologised but Brent Staker has to live through that."


Back To Top
feedback