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Kane Cornes: AFL clubs aren’t always transparent

On Monday night Brownlow medallist Chris Judd accused Adelaide’s Rory Sloane of lying.

Judd questioned Sloane’s admission that Adelaide’s infamous pre-season camp made him a better person, husband and team mate.

“A little piece of you dies each time you say something publicly that you don’t actually believe,” Judd said bizarrely.

The kind-natured Sloane uncharacteristically hit back on Twitter and questioned Judd’s knowledge to comment on the issue.

Take Sloane out of it and Judd was spot on when he empathised with players as they are often forced to tow the club line and message.

It’s a fact that some Adelaide players are frustrated that they have had to tow the club line this year when they would rather speak honestly. Don Pyke was caught-out when he denied Brad Crouch’s groin issue was in fact osteitis pubis, only to have Crouch himself confirm it only days later.

All year, Adelaide has frustrated their fans with mistruths around injuries and their leadership program which all came to an awkward conclusion at a press conference on Saturday.

It’s not just Adelaide players who feel the pressure. Every AFL player that has fronted the media wouldn’t have been fully transparent.

From teammates’ injuries, relationships with the coach, umpiring decisions, the truth about rival players and of course the most popular – contract negotiations – will never get an upfront answer.

Probably the most honest and upfront coach in the game is Ken Hinkley, but even his honesty was questioned when he announced Darcy Byrne-Jones was dropped for being late. The conspiracy theories said “there must be more to it”.

In Round 18 of 2011 my coach Matthew Primus told me that year was going to be my last – I was done.

A few days later Caroline Wilson broke the story in *The Age*, and I felt sick reading it. ‘How did she find out’, I thought?

I had a weekly television commitment at the time and the reporter – Ian Shuttleworth – who ironically is now head of Adelaide’s media department, asked me to confirm Wilson’s version of events.

I flat out lied. ‘No that’s not true – I have 2 years to run on my contract and I intend to play them out,’ I said confidently.

A little piece of me didn’t die when I said it, and I don’t regret lying. It was the best thing for me and the club to say at the time.

Only Sloane would know the truth behind his comments but what do you, the fans, expect?

Are you happy for your club and players to tell white lies and hide the truth?

Or as members and stakeholders do they need to be transparent?


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