Runners

Adelaide coach Don Pyke says clubs who abuse the use of runners must be punished in a bid to stamp out on-field coaching. 

Pyke, who believes runners should still be apart of the game, wants clubs to be held accountable after the AFL confirmed on Monday that the use of runners would be restricted in the JLT Community Series. 

The trial, which will see runners only allowed to deliver messages during breaks in play after a goal as been signalled, could yet be implemented in the 2018 season should it run smoothly throughout the preseason. 

“If guys are out there too long or genuinely coaching, then I think you come down hard on them,” Pyke told Sportsday radio.

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“You say to that team, you’re either going to get heavily fined, or you send your runner off for a period and you can’t use your runner for the next 15 minutes because he’s acting outside his mandate on the field.

“Do it that way, rather than a blanket ban on all runners.

“I hope we’re not reacting to just the fear of how many people are on the ground, because clearly there’s a number of trainers and physios and doctors.

“From my viewpoint, I think we need to ensure the runners aren’t acting as genuine coaches; they’re there just delivering messages. 

“I’m not against either limiting the number of messages a quarter or a half, but I think they’re an important part of the game.”

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