Melbourne AFLW star Daisy Pearce says the AFL’s memo to coaches to improve scoring is a knee-jerk reaction to only one weekend of football.
Pearce believes that her fellow AFLW players needed to be given more time to work their way into the season before any changes should have been considered.
“I almost feel it is a bit reactionary and a bit knee-jerk to one weekend’s results,” she told SEN’s Whateley.
“It’s our second game, if you count a practice match, that we have played for the season. The men get four JLT games and a couple of AFLX games to get those cobwebs out. I felt them on the weekend… It does just take time to adjust to season proper.
“As a player who plays in the competition, I guarantee the skill level has improved… across the board, scoring is up 25 per cent.
“Some things take time and I think that is the only magic fix for this. I don’t think it’s far away.
“This weekend’s games will be better than they were on the weekend, Round 3 will be better. By Round 8 teams will be playing well-structured, skilful and better football. It’s just natural evolution that happens in a football season.”
Pearce added that the fact that a quarter of the players who took to the field in Round 1 were playing in their first AFLW game means that a slow start to the season should have always expected.
“The way that it has all played out hasn’t made it any easier to manage the expectations of the public when the facts are that we’re part-time and two years into a competition,” she said.
“I’m running out on the weekend with girls who are playing their very first game, those are just the raw facts of where this competition is at. There were something like 40 debutants playing across the competition in their first ever AFLW game.
“This is a competition in its infancy. That’s 25 per cent of the players playing their first AFLW game and whilst the skill level has improved, of course it is going to take a little bit of time to adjust.
“It feels like we’re aiming for perfection when in AFL football, you’re never going to get that.”
The Demon believes the prominence of the story regarding the AFLW’s new scoring guidelines have overshadowed a positive opening round of the second season of the women’s competition.
“It’s a bit of a shame that it’s the only thing we’re talking about. It’s almost given this perception that the league is broken when it’s not,” said Pearce.
“I feel like there was some great positive stories that came out of the weekend.
“I don’t think it is as big a story or deal as what it is being presented as.”
Listen to Pearce’s emotional plea on Whateley below:
Originally published by Justin Talent on SEN.com.au