Luke Beveridge press conference, league tackle memo, Simon Goodwin reaction

Western Bulldogs manager Luke Beveridge has called the AFL’s crackdown on players dodging for free-kicks “another setback”, saying the players who have the hardest time winning football shouldn’t not be “victimized”.

On Tuesday, the AFL sent a memo to all clubs again stressing a directive to referees not to award players who stoop, drop or shrug their shoulders in a tackle to make high contact with a free kick.

Citing Geelong captain Joel Selwood as a prime example of someone who wins free-kicks simply by being ‘the toughest football in the competition’, Beveridge said that kind of effort should not be penalized .

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“My view is not to change the game and the interpretations that have been there forever,” he said.

“It’s another thrill. Just reward the player who is the toughest at football and don’t victimize that behavior. It should be rewarded, not penalized.

“Leave it as it is. Reward the player who has his head above his foot. In the end, penalize the guy who didn’t tackle like he should have tackled. I’m happy for those who are on the edge or marginal to play.

“But let’s not change things anymore. Reward the player who is stronger in football.

Joel Selwood goes all out at a ball against Carlton last weekend (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

But Melbourne manager Simon Goodwin backed the crackdown, despite one of his players being caught up in the controversy.

Among the three examples in last weekend’s series of matches was one involving Demon livewire Kysaiah Pickett, who was awarded a free kick for high contact after being tackled by Port Adelaide captain Tom Jonas.

But he was identified as misjudged and Pickett was responsible for the high contact after dropping his shoulders so the taller opponent took him high. “Play on” should have been called.

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Goodwin said this specific area of ​​the game was “difficult to judge”, but incidents of players dodging for free kicks also needed to be eradicated from the game.

“We are going to show our players and educate our players. It’s not something we train within our group of players,” he said on Wednesday.

“I think it’s fantastic (the AFL) to have been able to say that’s what they’re going to focus on from a refereeing perspective. And without a doubt, it’s difficult for the referees .

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I don’t think it’s a good look for our game where we’re trying to take free kicks, but it’s a tough thing to officiate. For them to come out and send a message… and we can deliver that message to the players, hopefully we can try to eradicate this stuff from the game.

In the edict sent to clubs, AFL refereeing chief Dan Richardson said that while players trying to win the ball needed to be protected, they also had a “duty of care not to put themselves in the high contact position”.

“At the end of the day, the rules don’t reward players who put themselves in vulnerable positions to take a free kick. That’s something we’d rather not see in our game at any level,” he said. declared.

“We want to be clear; If the referee thinks the ball carrier is responsible for the high contact, he will not be rewarded.

But Beveridge said if players who went hard, like Selwood, had “techniques that draw an awkward tackle” they shouldn’t be penalised.

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“The reason why (Selwood) gets a lot of free-kicks is probably because he’s the hardest at football and a loose ball in the competition, so reward him for that,” he said.

“If he has techniques that ultimately land an awkward or unruly tackle, good luck to him and he deserves every free kick he gets.

“He’s a great example to me, and we look back and say some of the ones he has over time shouldn’t be there based on what’s been released. Leave it as is. Reward the player who has their head above their feet.

“Penalize the guy who didn’t tackle like he should have tackled. I’m happy for those who are on the edge or marginal to play. But let’s not change things anymore.

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