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‘Pick smarter footballers’: Bartel left dumbfounded by AFL’s stance on runners

Piggy, Levy & Jimmy

Geelong great Jimmy Bartel remains staunchly against changing the rules on AFL runners again.

After being allowed on the field during play in previous years, the league opted to only allow them on the ground in the break between goals this season.

Football operations boss Steve Hocking said on Thursday the current rules were “extreme” following the league’s competition committee meeting.

Bartel said the AFL were “caving” to the demands of coaches as they look to re-introduce the amount of time runners are allowed on the field.

“I’m completely against this,” he said on Macquarie Sports Radio.

“I know coaches are a lot wiser and smarter and been in the game a lot longer than I have but seriously, what are you doing during the week.”

“There’s 10 coaches, there’s (plenty) of video and data, they sit in meetings, you have pre-season for three months and you have access to them for five-and-a-half days a week.

“You really need that much control?

“Pick smarter footballers, that should be part of your recruiting and list management structure.”

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Image: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

Piggy, Levy & Jimmy