Jonathan Brown wants AFL interchange rotations cut in half to bring back one-on-one contests

THE number of interchange rotations should be halved to increase the AFL’s appeal, former Brisbane Lions skipper Jonathan Brown says.

Jonathan Brown wants to see more one-on-one contests in the AFL.140917VH06 Picture: VICKY HUGHSON

Brown, one of Warrnambool’s favourite sons, wants the AFL to drastically cut the number of rotations.

Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Brown suggested that by halving the current quota of rotations per side, the game would benefit and fans would be more satisfied watching players in greater one-on-one battles.

“I think there’s 120 rotations in a game now. I would love to see that amount wound back to between 50 to 60,” Brown said.

“The change would make the game more competitive and allow for more one-on-one contests.

“I just think the fans are getting a bit sick of watching players running off and on the ground each few minutes.

“Midfielders are only on the ground between six to eight minutes before they are rotated and when blokes kick a goal they come off. I’m like the fans, I love seeing the one-on-one match-ups.”

Brown, who is holidaying in Port Fairy with his family, said the game he loved should not be complicated by rules.

“When Leigh Matthews was coaching us at the Lions he kept on saying the game is simple. Leigh used to say stick to the basics, tackle, get the footy and improve your kicking skills,” the triple Lions premiership player said.

“I just reckon there are some people who want to complicate what is quite a simple game. The rotations are all about making the game quicker but I reckon the game is fast enough.”

Brown is not alone in wanting interchanges reduced.

New Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh, a former Hamilton footballer, wants the number cut to as low as 80. Last week he said the expanded interchange bench had changed the game too dramatically and that a number of coaches in the industry held similar views.

Brown, a champion centre half-forward who booted 594 goals during his 256-game career, hung up his boots after another sickening head injury in round 13 this year. But Brown said he finished with only one disappointment.

“I’ve only got one regret with my career, it goes back to 2004,” Brown said.

“I had a crook right knee before the grand final against Port Adelaide. I had a fitness test at Wesley College on the Friday away from the media while the players were in the grand final parade.

“My knee blew up on the Friday night when I was back at the motel. I was disappointed how I played in that grand final.

“I should have rolled the dice and never did the fitness test. I should have just played in the grand final.

“I’ve often questioned myself how I would have played in that grand final if I never had the fitness test. We were going for four consecutive flags but sadly Port beat us in 2004.”

Brown said he admired lots of players who play the game at the elite level but admitted he had a soft spot for his cousin Liam Picken, who plays for the Western Bulldogs.

“Liam has done a wonderful job with his career. He’s played 129 games with the Bulldogs. He would have to be one of the best taggers in the game. He gets a lot of the hard jobs,” Brown said.

“Liam is a bit like a battering ram in each game. He’s often knocked from pillar to post but he just gets up and shrugs his shoulders and gets on with the game.”

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