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A credible AFLX is “worth having a look at” according to the AFL’s greatest player Leigh Matthews

AFL legend Leigh Matthews has offered his support behind the AFL’s new brainchild AFLX and believes the shortened concept of Australian rules football would be “worth having a look at”.

The AFL yesterday announced Eddie Betts, Patrick Dangerfield, Nat Fyfe and Jack Riewoldt as the captains of four superhero teams in a one-night only AFLX tournament in February 2019.

The tournament will see four teams compete in a round-robin format culminating in a Grand Final between the top two teams.

Known for his great aerobic capacity and winning the ball in the air, Nat Fyfe will captain theFLYERS. Lightning fast speed, disposals and decision-making will help Patrick Dangerfield captain theBOLTS. His brute strength, ability to break through tackles and take the big marks will have Jack Riewoldt captaining the RAMPAGE. Eddie Betts’ highlights reel of remarkable goals and foot skills confirms his role as captain of the DEADLYS, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team.

On the back of the release, the games greatest player Matthews tweeted yesterday “Not convinced about all aspects of the latest AFLX offering but creating a credible version of AFL on a smaller field with smaller numbers of players is a very worthwhile objective , particularly as a way to increase the numbers of kids playing footy.”

Expanding on his thoughts on Macquarie Sports Radio with David Morrow and Tony Leonard “I think it’s a really good option, but it has to be credible, but the only way it’s credible is if the best players play it occasionally. That’s what AFLX is all about it, I’m not the target audience, but I do think the principle of developing a credible version of the AFL that you can play on a rectangle field, I think it’s a really valuable thing to give us more chance of people and having enough fields, I’m all for that”

A live draft event will be held in early February where the four captains will have the ability to build their teams from a pool of 100 players. There will be a limit of four players per AFL club competing in the AFLX 2019 tournament.

Each team will consist of 14 players, with eight players on the field at any one time and six on the bench. The AFLX 2019 matches will consist of two ten-minute halves and feature ten-point super goals.

“I’m for that concept of getting the best players in the AFL at least playing on a rectangular field as maybe the opening the door to it happening more often at junior and community levels. I don’t think you have to doll it up. Relatively normal rules with 10 a side would be worth having a look at. I don’t think you have to have all the bells and whistles in the rule-making, I think you’ve got to be careful of making it such a different game that it doesn’t look credible” said Matthews played in 4 Premierships with Hawthorn and coached 4 flags with Collingwood (1990) and Brisbane (2001 – 2003).

The AFLX competition will be played at Marvel Stadium on February 22 in a one night only extravaganza.

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