Former Port Adelaide premiership player Kane Cornes has lambasted Patrick Dangerfield’s calls for pre-season to be shortened to eight weeks.
The AFL Players’ Association president raised the idea of a shortened pre-season on SEN Mornings yesterday to combat the increasing injury toll in the AFL.
“We’ve got the longest pre-season in world sports. I think at some stage we’ll see senior players returning in January and the players one to four years, there’d be some sort of training camp,” Dangerfield said on SEN Mornings.
“To engage pre-season at the moment, you return for two weeks then you’ve got a three-week Christmas break and then you’re back to training, it’s a little bit untidy.
“I think eventually we’ll get to a stage where it would be a build-up over eight weeks in that January period.”
Cornes refuted Dangerfield’s claims that a shortened pre-season would decrease the amount of injuries in the league and even suggested modern players currently have “too much time on their hands”.
“Firstly, there is absolutely no evidence that a shorter pre-season will decrease injury rates,” Cornes said today.
“That was really strange for him to say the way to fix the increasing injury rates is to shorten the pre-season – that’s not even logical.
“The modern AFL player already gets far too much downtime and holidays.
“Perhaps that’s why we are seeing some players with too much time on their hands struggling with gambling addiction.
“What full-time job, where the average wage is $370,000 per year, will grant you 12 weeks holiday per year, and a mandatory one and a half days off per week? Sounds good doesn’t it.”
Cornes also compared footballer’s downtime to marathon runners and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal.
“I know for a fact Australia’s elite marathon runners train 365 days per year, including Christmas day.
“Can you imagine tennis superstar Rafael Nadal taking 12 weeks holiday per year? He’d be lucky to take two days off.”