Sam Jacobs gets a kick away under pressure. Picture: Sarah Reed Source: News Corp Australia.

Former Herald Sun chief football writer Mike Sheehan says for the first time in 50 years, he is worried about the skill level of the game.

Sheehan, appearing on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 last night, said that he has noticed a definite decline in skills over recent years.

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“Probably for the first time in watching this game for half a century, I’m concerned about the skills of the game,” Sheahan said.

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“The ball being turned over as often as it is now, the lack of the one-on-one stuff and the lack of pure highlights”

However, Sheehan was unable to pinpoint the reason for the decline, suggesting it was possibly the number of teams, or the congestion around stoppages.

“Now whether that goes to too many teams, I’m not sure,” he said.

“Maybe it is that 18 teams are too many.

“Maybe there’s too many people around the ball so you can’t get any clarity.”