One of the disadvantages of living in a “one team town” in both the NRL
and AFL is that you get saturation media coverage, especially on television, of
the two teams – in my case the Broncos and the Lions – and inadequate coverage
of the rest of the competition.

But there are advantages, and one of them for me is I get to hear
and
read a lot from the Lions coach, Leigh Matthews. As AFL-loving Crikey
readers
point out regularly, I know precious little about the AFL, but I know
enough to realise that Leigh Matthews was not only a great player and
coach –
he is a shrewd judge of his game and sport generally.

Over the weekend in his weekly newspaper column he pinpointed a
critical problem facing the NRL clubs today and did so without any malice or a
“we told you so” approach. And I hope the NRL, and the players association in particular, sit up
and take notice of what Matthews wrote.

He pointed out that between the 2004 and 2005 seasons, just 17
players in the AFL changed clubs. In the same period more than 70 players
in the NRL did so.

A full report is on the site here.

Peter Fray

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