Stop trying to change our game.
That’s the simple message from Fremantle Coach Ross Lyon, after the idea of a zoning system to ease congestion was floated earlier in the week by former Eagles coach John Worsfold.
The Dockers coach told Radio 6PR's Sports Today program that enough was enough and it was time to leave the game alone.
“My view is our unique and magnificent game that it is, has survived a lot of challenges and evolved. Everyone focuses on the negatives to be frank," Lyon said.
“It's transitional. Anyone who thinks there is 36 players in half the ground for the whole game is kidding themselves.”
“There’s a lot of negativity but I think a lot of people thrive on that in this business”
Worsfold, who now sits on the AFL Rules committee, said the idea could see a line drawn down the middle of ground, forcing teams to leave two or three players in one half of the ground at all times.
“I’m not too sure who is pushing the agenda of all this congestion all I know is lots of goals are getting kicked” Lyon said.
“On the weekend Tex Walker kicked five goals while Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippet were on fire for the Swans.”
Lyon admits players are often forced to push up the ground to man up on opposition but says this is just one of many constantly evolving tactics.
“The hardest thing is when it gets in a team's forward-50 and they have a stoppage, they lock it in there," Lyon said.
“If your forwards sit back there’s six defenders up in front of them and when your midfielders look up all they see is the opposition. That’s the press.”
In discussing the weekend win over the Western Bulldogs Lyon was blunt in his assessment of the value of statistics..
“I did quantitative studies at uni and they gave me a book - Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics," he said.
The Dockers were smashed in the inside-50 count 67 to 41 but managed to kick seven more goals.
Lyon said that discrepancy was not overly worrying.
“We had more entries against Sydney and lost. So there’s always a balance," Lyon said.
“If it was more entries you win games, everyone would just be bombing it in but it doesn’t work like that. The Eagles have had lots of entries than their opposition at times [and lost]. I wish it was as simple as that but it’s not.”
Fremantle hosts Adelaide at home on Saturday looking for their third win in a row and with a healthy percentage it could see them jump into the top-four.
The Crows sit just outside the top-eight with five wins and five losses after stirring victory over the Suns.
“The Crows are a reflection on the competition and how even it is, I talked about it earlier in the year and I want to acknowledge the evenness of the competition again” Lyon said.
“They [Adelaide] up and about so it’s going to be a big challenge.”