Draft gives even com­pe­ti­tion

Guardian Express - - GUARDIAN SPORT -

with Josh Kennedy

FOR many years now the AFL has had equal­i­sa­tion sys­tems like the draft and salary cap in place with the in­ten­tion of giv­ing ev­ery club the op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed.

We have seen those mea­sures bear fruit in a num­ber of ways, in­clud­ing the fact that the Western Bull­dogs and Rich­mond have won pre­mier­ships in the past two years.

Of course, those clubs ob­vi­ously did a lot of things right, but they cap­i­talised on the op­por­tu­nity and the sys­tem.

In the last cou­ple of weeks we have seen more ex­am­ples of those equal­i­sa­tion mea­sures at work, with any team ca­pa­ble of beat­ing any other on any given day.

It started with our game against Essendon at Op­tus Sta­dium last Thurs­day night, and then over the course of the week­end we saw the Bull­dogs push North Mel­bourne within a cou­ple of points and Carl­ton chal­lenged Colling­wood.

It’s a tight com­pe­ti­tion and fans from all clubs can go to games with re­al­is­tic hopes.

As play­ers we know that’s the case and we spend a lot of time pre­par­ing for each game.

We not only work on our own sys­tems and struc­tures but we also study the op­po­si­tion and plot the best way to beat them.

That plan didn’t come to­gether against the Bombers, but this week presents an­other op­por­tu­nity against Ade­laide at Ade­laide Oval and we’ll aim to get things back on track.

While there was a lit­tle bit made of a cou­ple of in­juries in the last few weeks, part of be­com­ing the team we want to be is about play­ing a par­tic­u­lar style and brand of foot­ball re­gard­less of the play­ers se­lected.

You can only win games with the play­ers who are out there and we be­lieve we have the depth of tal­ent to carry us through.

At the mo­ment we are two or three wins away from guar­an­tee­ing our­selves a place in the fi­nals. We sit at 10-3 after 13 games and prob­a­bly need 13 wins to be as­sured of be­ing part of the fi­nals se­ries.

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