Mitch Robinson, Jarrod Berry, Chris Fagan and Rhys Mathieson. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Mitch Robinson, Jarrod Berry, Chris Fagan and Rhys Mathieson. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

‘Let’s entertain the fans’: Lions coach backs rule changes

BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan says the Lions will have an "open mind" in regards to any potential rule changes.

Rumblings continue to grow louder in regards to the potential introduction of starting positions at centre bounces and stoppages next year.

But Fagan said the Lions would embrace any changes made to the game, and focus on adapting their game plan to suit them.

"I think we've got to keep an open mind about any changes that are made," Fagan said on Fox Footy's AFL 360.

"Ultimately if the AFL decides to do anything, there will be elements of it that we'll like and there'll be elements of it that we don't like and it'll be different for different for different clubs depending on their weaknesses.

"The controlling body has got the best interests in the game at heart.

"From the perspective of the Brisbane Lions Footy Club, we're open to any changes that they might bring along and that'll add to the excitement of next season and we'll spend a lot of time over summer working out the best way to play."

 

The potential rule changes relate to frustration over congestion in the modern game.

Fagan said the changes would encourage more freedom of ball movement, and open up the game for key forwards.

"I think things that might open up the game a little bit and help forwards score more and take more marks and the ball to move more freely … that's what the fans want to see," he said.

"We're in the entertainment business and let's entertain the fans."

The Lions conducted a trial of starting positions four weeks ago.

When asked whether the rule change had the potential to achieve the adjustments the AFL wanted to see in the game, Fagan was noncommittal, but said his players had enjoyed the trial.

Chris Fagan. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Chris Fagan. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

"Possibly," he said.

"It's a small amount of evidence, but the players really enjoyed the game - that was the feedback from them. They were surprised by how much space they had."

Fagan is a member of the AFL Competition Committee.

His comments follow those of fellow committee member Brad Scott, who said reducing congestion could lead to an increase in blowouts.

"I think one of the biggest risks to opening up congestion and reducing coaches' ability to congest the game is it makes the bottom teams' jobs a fair bit harder," Scott said.

"When you even things up and open up the game the top teams can really dominate the bottom teams.

"That's something that has certainly been raised - that if you reduce congestion, you potentially increase blowouts and that could then lead to another so-called blight on the game."

 

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