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Skills, not fitness, hurting the game: Adcock

While most of this week’s footy coverage has focused on Brent Harvey’s 400th game, it’s been easy to forget how tough it is to make it to 200 games. Or 100. Or 50.

Earlier this week, former Brisbane Lions skipper Jed Adcock – who’s set to play game 200 against Harvey’s Kangaroos – opened up about the growing demands that accompany AFL life.


“I was at peak fitness this year in January and we’re not playing a game for four points until April – and yet you’re still slogging it out,” the 29-year-old told SEN’s Inside Footy.

“I’m not sure that does players any good over the course of a year or even a career… Pre-seasons have just become far too long and far too draining, mentally and physically.”

“these views from Jed Adcock mirror those of the majority of AFL players” – AFL Players’ CEO Paul Marsh

There’s been a lot of talk about making the AFL season shorter – but if it were up to Adcock, the pre-season competition would be turfed.

“What you’ll find is that players will play the season out stronger and the game would still be in a good place come finals,” he said.

“If you’re fresher and not as fatigued it might help avoid injury and allow the game to be played closer to the manner in which fans – and the AFL – want it played.”

Upon seeing Adcock’s comments, AFL Players’ CEO Paul Marsh tweeted, “these views from Jed Adcock mirror those of the majority of AFL players”.

The 184cm defender also offered his opinion on recent rule changes, and the prospect of more to come.

“In my opinion it’s not fitness but skill level that is hurting the game as much as anything.”

“A better skill level will help alleviate congestion and we see that with how Hawthorn plays the game. The teams with better skills play a more open brand of footy because the skill allows it.”

Drew Petrie explains what’s allowed teammate and former housemate ‘Boomer’ Harvey to reach 400 games