Terry Wallace has identified some areas of concern that the AFL must continue to focus on.
The former Western Bulldogs and Richmond coach insists he is loving the work of AFL Football Operations boss Steven Hocking but says there is plenty that can still be fixed to improve the modern game.
“First up, I’m an unabashed fan of Steven Hocking, I think he’s doing a great job,” he said on SEN.
“Just from seeing what he’s doing from afar and the times that I’ve heard him present. He’s a straight shooter who calls it exactly the way it is and I like that about him.
“I think he’s tried to change the right sort of things. I know the football industry doesn’t like massive change but there are some things that you need to look at on a regular basis.
“In my mind, there are still some areas of the game that have got some really big issues surrounding them.
“I think in the next three-to-five years he’s (Hocking) still got a huge job ahead of him in just turning some of these things around.
“Not in any particular order, I’ve got half a dozen things in my mind that I still see from minor to major issues.”
Terry Wallace’s AFL issues:
1. Gold Coast and GWS
“The first one, the AFL still has to be worried about where the Gold Coast and GWS sit in the landscape.
“Where will they stand, and will people in New South Wales and Western Sydney follow them?
“I think that’s still, at this stage, a genuine concern.”
2. Football in the grassroots heartland
“We’ve gone from one where we’re trying to expand and develop, to how is Tassie footy going?
“We’ve heard so much about it over the last 12 months.
“How’s country Victoria football going with leagues needing to amalgamate and sides falling apart.
“There’s a massive amount of work that needs to be done there.”
3. Professionalism, instability and key management in umpiring
“A lack of support and a lot of rule changes in the umpiring department has made that really difficult in that area.
“I know that Steven Hocking and the AFL are aware of that and there professionalism areas around the umpiring need to pick up.
“I’ve witnessed it first-hand, they really do need a bit more stability within this regions.
“Footy clubs have got to be stable and the umpiring department needs to be exactly the same as well.”
4. Pre-Season comps
“Is a real concern to me.
“The JLT to me is now just a couple of practice games. We don’t have a pre-season competition.
“We used to get 50,000 people to a final of the pre-season comp. We don’t have one anymore.
“We are two years in and we are already looking at AFLX Mark 2 already, clearly Mark 1 didn’t work.”
5. How to make the draft a watchable product
“Night one was ok, but there were some warts and hiccups around night two.
“It’s still a way off.”
“The fixturing, for me, is still farcical where it sits at the moment.
“That’s a heck of a lot of work the AFL has still got to do.”
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