Brisbane Lions veteran Luke Hodge believes the new rules for the upcoming season could allow forwards to kick big bags of goals.
As clubs have shifted away from relying on one key forward to boot the majority of their score in recent years, individual goal-kicking numbers have declined.
No Coleman Medal winner has topped 80 goals in the last nine seasons, while Jack Riewoldt’s 65 goals in 2018 matched the lowest Coleman Medal-winning total since 1965.
In response to this trend and low-scoring games, the AFL has implemented a number of new rules with the primary aim of boosting scoring. Most notable among these is the 6-6-6 positional alignment for centre bounces, which also dictates that one player from each team is in the goal square at these stoppages.
Entering his 18th AFL season, Hodge said that as backlines adjust to the offence-oriented rules, forwards may find themselves with more goal scoring opportunities.
“You can try so many different things and defenders have to try to expect that or just react to it,” Hodge told SEN Breakfast.
“You can see blokes like Eddie Betts coming out of the goal square, that’s a different look to a Taylor Walker.
“It’s going to be different but it’s also going to be exciting because it also gives a chance for the big full-forwards to kick your bulk goals again,” he said.
AFL umpires have appeared at training over the summer to assist clubs with the transition to the new rules.