Fox Footy voices to join the AFL’s newly formed ‘look of the game’ committee

TWO prominent Gerards will complete the AFL’s newly formed ‘look of the game’ committee, which will be chaired by AFL operations boss Steve Hocking. can reveal 1988 Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy will join Leigh Matthews, Malcolm Blight and Mike Sheahan on the panel for Thursday morning’s meeting.

Fox Footy’s Gerard Whateley has also been included in the group, although the AFL 360 co-host will not attend the first meeting due to work commitments at SEN but will still play a key role in Hocking’s consultation process.

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“I was honoured to be asked to go along,” Healy said on 3AW’s Sportsday program.

“I’m not sure what contribution I can make. I will throw up ideas and I’m pretty open with my ideas. I’m on radio three or four times per week.

“I think it’s going to be interesting to see what they present. I’m not going there to basically tell them. I’m going to listen and observe and see what contribution I can make.”

It’s understood the ‘look of the game’ committee — as it has been dubbed — will have a strong focus on finding ways to reduce congestion and will be shown vision to critique.

Between Hocking, Matthews, Blight and Healy, the group has 920 games of elite level playing experience, plus six premierships for Blight and Matthews combined as coaches.

Former Hawthorn biomechanics guru David Rath, who left club-land to take up a role at league headquarters earlier this year, will also play a pivotal role in the discussion.

Rath is seen as a tactical genius in AFL circles after he helped Alastair Clarkson stay ahead of the game with groundbreaking tactics and innovations after joining the Hawks at roughly the same time as the four-time premiership coach.

AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley will join the ‘look of the game’ committee
AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley will join the ‘look of the game’ committeeSource: Supplied

Hocking, who was appointed as the league’s football operations boss in late August last year, forecast at least two more mini-groups of people who will gather in the coming months to discuss the ‘look of the game.’

One will consist of fans, while another will include more recently retired stars.

“We will get in front of a group of fans as well at the appropriate time to get a cross-section to make sure we use them as a sounding board,” Hocking said on Sportsday.

“They are a really important stakeholder in the game. My style is to work with people.

“We are looking to gather as much information in as possible. Malcolm (Blight) will probably come with a dozen ideas. Leigh will come in very considered. Having played under Malcolm, I’ve got a fair idea of what it will look like.

“I’m actually really looking forward to having that connection with that group of people as well.

“We will do that with some recently retired players as well at the appropriate time. By the time it gets to the competition committee and also to the commission, the right information is in front of them.

“The game is going well … But from our point of view do you just sit idle or do you have a look at it?”


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