Silver lining in AFL cuts: Crows backman

Steve Larkin
Jake Kelly (right) is expecting a more free-flowing spectacle in AFL when club staff are reduced

The AFL could become a more relaxed and free-flowing spectacle amid a forecast reduction in club staffers, Adelaide defender Jake Kelly says.

The AFL soft salary cap which covers football department spending could be reduced by a third from next season as clubs tighten their proverbial financial belts.

Assistant and development coaches are expected to feel the brunt of the cutbacks, which Kelly says could lead to the game becoming less formulated.

"As staff dwindle down to sort of a skeleton staff, that could change the game over the long-term in the next couple of years," Kelly said on Wednesday.

"With less coaches, less meetings, players will play a bit more freely potentially - but definitely not this year, I don't think that will occur.

"There's definitely the potential for the game to become a bit more relaxed in terms of structure. There will be less voices in the players' heads."

Kelly described the looming loss of club staffers as a "major negative" but said many players would welcome less structure in the game.

"A lot of players will relish that," he said.

"Over the past few years there definitely has been trend towards having a lot of voices telling you what to do, where to play, where to stand ... that's very structured and that almost doesn't make the game look great."

Kelly and fellow AFL players were expecting to soon know when competition will restart, with the potential of a mid-June resumption.

"That's a great date to work towards, it's definitely reasonable and definitely realistic," he said.

The Crows were among clubs recalling players currently interstate with a resumption date possibly known this Friday, when governments were tipped to ease coronavirus restrictions.

"From the coaching staff we have been told 'be ready to come back soon'," Kelly said.

"That has been the main message from (coach Matthew Nicks) Nicksy, to prepare mentally.

"Physically we have been doing everything we can over the last few weeks."