KB wants trainers' on-field time cut

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 19 Januari 2013 | 14.43

Former Richmond champion Kevin Bartlett wants to see AFL trainers spend less time on the field. Picture: Derrick Den Hollander. Source: Herald Sun

KEVIN Bartlett has backed plans to slash the time AFL trainers can spend on the ground during games.

The AFL laws of the game committee and players are at odds over a plan to allow trainers to run drinks on to the field only after goals.

It is understood the league also wants to reduce the number of trainers per team from five to four.

The recommendation was made to help ease congestion on the field and limit instances of interference from water-carriers.

Some players contacted by the Herald Sun have labelled the push "crazy" and "dangerous" because of the risk of dehydration in hot conditions.

Bartlett, a member of the laws committee, said players would have adequate access to water under the new proposal.

The AFL legend said any resistance to the plan was "ridiculous", considering there was an average 26.6 goals scored a game last year, plus continual interchange rotations.

"That's 26 times a game at least where they can access water," Bartlett told the Herald Sun.

"If we look at that over four quarters, that's six times a quarter.

"I don't know whether anyone's going to dehydrate in between quarters, are they? If there was to be (up to) 50 interchanges a quarter as well, any player suggesting he could get dehydrated or collapse is being ridiculous."

AFL game analysis manager Joel Bowden presented the plan to the AFL Players Association in December.

For the second consecutive year, it was rejected.

The AFLPA said there were three key reasons for voting against the proposal.

Among their concerns was the potential for long periods between goals and the hot conditions experienced early and late in the season, especially in Perth and Queensland.

West Coast hosted North Melbourne in 28C in last year's elimination final.

"We do not see how this will contribute significantly to reducing congestion," the AFLPA said.

"There are ramifications from a health and safety/performance perspective due to the importance of hydration in our game."

The AFL has introduced rules such as the substitute system to help ease on-field congestion.

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