MELBOURNE, VICTORIA - AUGUST 31: AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan and AFL General Manager Football Operations Steven Hocking address the media after Steve Hocking was announced as the new AFL General Manager of Football Operations at AFL House on August 31, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking says any significant rule changes that may occur will not be implemented for at least two to three years.

The commentary around the state of the game has ramped up with AFLPA president Patrick Dangerfield endorsing starting positions and zones, while Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said the potential new rule would be a “blight on the game”.

Hocking said the process to introduce such a significant rule would be lengthy and that fans won’t be seeing teams playing in zones in the near future.

“One of the big parts is where can we actually put this out into the public,” he told SEN.

“We’re not talking potentially this happening in 2019.

“It has to go through the competition committee, it’s got to go through the AFL executives, it’s got to get to the commission.

“Having spent 10 months with the commission, they’re super impressive people,” Hocking added.

“There’s no way known on Richard Goyder’s watch that he’s just going to pull a lever and go right let all this roll through.

“There’s going to have to be so much work and evidence and also understanding, and everyone’s got to be ready for it.

“It may not be next year, it could be the year after, it could be the year after that.”