Home » Legends hit out at AFL’s medical sub introduction

Legends hit out at AFL’s medical sub introduction

Essendon great Matthew Lloyd says the AFL has opened a “massive can of worms” with the introduction of its new medical substitution rule.

The rule has split opinions less than 48 hours out from the season-opener between Richmond and Carlton, with teams now able to take a game-day squad of 23 players in.

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While the substitute was initially thought to be only for players who are concussed, the fact that a player with any injury can be subbed off has left Lloyd as confused as many.

“You know if you’re concussed, you can’t play for 12 days, so I can live with that one, but to then bring it into a medical injury, I just think it opens up a massive can of worms,” he told Nine’s Footy Classified.

“The amount of times I’ve been corked, injured or had AC joints where I couldn’t finish a game, but I was going to be right the next week, now suddenly a fresh player is going to come on for me that specific day, but then I’d be right to play the next day.”

According to the new rule, for a substitute player to be eligible to take the field, the club doctor must decide that the player being subbed off will be unavailable to play a game in the following 12 days.

Ex-Fremantle and St Kilda coach Ross Lyon also echoed Lloyd’s statements, saying the new rule opened up an unnecessary “grey area”.

“There’s ambiguity and it could come unstuck under pressure,” he said.

“There’s enormous pressure on the club doctors and they’re under enough pressure as it is.

“I’d make it five (interchange players), deal with whatever comes on game day, five players will get you through.

“That has been proven over a long period of time. That gets out of any pressure situations.”

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