AFLPA President and Cats superstar Patrick Dangerfield has called for the length of the AFL season to be shortened in a bid to reduce injuries.
Spearhead Demon Jesse Hogan and Giants veteran Heath Shaw are the latest casualties of an ever growing toll of star players sidelined this season, seemingly devastating several club’s premiership chances.
Dangerfield blames the fixture for the abundance of injuries and believes it must be reviewed for the betterment of the game’s spectacle.
“I think it’s (the length of season and matches) something that needs to be reviewed,” the Brownlow Medallist told SEN’s Whateley.
“Twenty-two games I see as too many anyway, but the length of the game is a conversation piece that needs to be had.
“It’s not about robbing fans of the 120 minutes of footy that they get at the moment.
“What’s robbing the fans at the moment is you’re not getting to see the best players because of injury and I think it is linked back into length of season, length of games and the demands players are put under.
“I suppose it (the injury toll) is really highlighted when you see the best players in the game go down and that is just a reality because that’s who the fans go to see.
“We want those players playing.
“I think it has been quite concerning because it is such a demanding game we have, it’s the longest preseason in world sport and then the season itself is seriously lengthy.
“We want our best players playing in finals and unfortunately we are not going to get that this year.”
Dangerfield would also like to see a reduction of the preseason competition.
“I don’t think we need as many games as we currently have,” he said.
“We had two last year, plus AFLX. I wouldn’t see any issue in playing one preseason game to be honest because most teams play a fair amount of match simulation in the lead-up to the season anyway.”