Rather than firing coaches following round 1 losses, AFL teams Freemantle and Collingwood have placed the responsibility where many feel it belongs: on the players.
Both teams experienced disappointing first round losses. The Dockers fell in embarrassing fashion to Western Bulldogs by 103 – 98. Even though the Bulldogs were competent enough to reach the finals last year, the lopsided margin was completely unexpected.
For the Magpies, the 133 – 53 loss to the Swans was a true shocker, even though Sydney was finalist last season and Collingwood was down the ladder in 12th. Pies supporters had hoped for better after off-season maneuvers had improved the side’s fortunes.
The Pies have lost through injury the services of Dane Swan and Jarrod Witts. Swan’s season and career are both in doubt because of three broken foot bones. Brayden Maynard was dropped.
Steele Sidebottom (suggestion for name of child: Topper) has been offered a two-game suspension that if he accepts, will have him sitting out against the Tigers this week and the Saints next week.
Over in WA, the Dockers have omitted players Tendai Mzungu, Matt Taberner and John Griffin. A knee injury appears to have cost them Zac Clarke.
Collingwood next faces Richmond and Freemantle has Gold Coast on the schedule.
If fortunes do not improve for both teams following round two, then it may be time to consider coaching changes.