McLachlan to host AFL coaches for dinner

Roger Vaughan
There will be plenty to discuss when Gillon McLachlan hosts AFL coaches for his annual get-together

Game congestion is certain to be a hot topic when AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan hosts the senior coaches for their annual dinner.

The informal get-together has been a feature of McLachlan's regime since he took over in 2014.

About a dozen of the 18 coaches will head to McLachlan's home on Monday night and discuss a range of issues in the game.

While all the coaches will be at the MCG for the Freeze MND event, some will be unable to attend the dinner because of other commitments.

There are growing concerns about congestion around the ball, with all 36 players in an AFL match often at or near the contest.

It is no coincidence that the average score per game halfway through the season is about 83, the lowest since 1968.

Several changes are being proposed, such as a large reduction in the number of interchange rotations per game, reducing the number of players on the ground from 18 to 16 or even having players set up in defined zones for each centre bounce.

Geelong coach Chris Scott, who will attend the dinner, is open-minded about looking at zones.

"In some capacity, we should think about it, but I do love the idea of our game being one where the players can go wherever they like - so maybe starting points (at centre bounces)," he said.

The proposed mid-season trade or draft, the new AFLX concept and trialling four field umpires are other items certain to be discussed at Monday night's dinner.