Our AFL experts Niall Seewang, Jake Michaels and Matt Walsh dissect all of the main talking points ahead of Round 11.
Where should Brad Scott be in 2020?
NS: As senior coach of Essendon or Carlton. For some reason, coaches rarely receive second chances in the AFL, but Scott has a decade's worth of experience at North Melbourne and got the Roos punching above their weight more often than not. There's every chance Scott can be an even stronger coach at a club with better recourses so I can see him being a good fit at the Blues or Bombers if things don't work out for Brendon Bolton or John Worsfold.
JM: No idea. Despite what many believe, I don't think he will be a senior coach next year, but he could certainly find a spot as an assistant coach somewhere. Given Scott's had a decade to work magic at the Roos, and hasn't, I'd be inclined to look elsewhere if I were a club in the market for a new senior coach. I'd rather give Michael Voss or Brett Ratten another crack.
MW: Perhaps he should get another opportunity at senior level. After all, he took the Roos to two preliminary finals with a team one would hardly describe as full of talent and it's clear he is well liked and got the best out of each player he coached. Perhaps a director of coaching role is his next move -- I'm not sure there are any teams jumping at the thought of hiring Scott as a head coach.
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Should player salaries be made public?
NS: No. There are few industries where employees' salaries are made public, so why should that be the case for AFL players? With mental health one of the league's most pressing topics, making this dramatic change would only worsen the issue for players struggling to deal with myriad challenges of competing at the highest level. I understand the fascination with player salaries in overseas sports, but that doesn't mean it should be introduced here.
JM: Honestly, I would love this. In most professional sports, athletes' salaries are public and I think it's something the AFL should really consider adopting. Not only would it heap (deserved) pressure on players who are perhaps paid a little bit too much, but it would also highlight those who are underpaid and deserve much more. I don't think this is a bad thing at all.
MW: We've survived all this time without knowing which player is getting paid how much and I think it can stay that way. Considering society is now acutely aware of the issues many players deal with in terms of mental health, let's not disclose their pay packets for morons to have pot shots from the cheap seats.
Right now, does Matt de Boer deserve to be an All-Australian?
NS: Absolutely. For some reason taggers are viewed with a sliver of disdain but a good one is worth his weight in gold. De Boer has had an elite season in taking down some of the league's premier midfielders including Zach Merrett, Patrick Cripps, Tim Kelly and Dustin Martin and he'd just about be leading the Giants' best and fairest. If Cameron Ling and Kane Cornes were both honoured with All-Australian selection back in the day, then de Boer has to be in the mix.
JM: 100 percent! I actually can't remember the last time a run-with player had such an enormous impact through 10 games. De Boer hasn't just stopped an elite player once or twice, he is literally doing it every single week and deserves to be recognised for it. Given the talent he's been able to nullify this year, you could argue he's the Giants' most important player (they certainly have a few!).
MW: He's the best tagger in the game right now, and if you were picking a fair dinkum 22 which accurately reflects a team which takes to the park on game day, then yes. His scalps this year have been incredibly impressive and if he keeps up this form he should be an All-Australian LOCK.
Is the AFL wasting its time playing games in China?
NS: Not just its time but also its money and effort. Yes, the AFL wants to expand its boundaries, but remember the league's forays into South Africa and New Zealand? No? Didn't think so. It's been hard enough for the AFL to gain strong footholds in non-traditional markets WITHIN Australia -- hello Gold Coast, hello GWS -- so maybe fix the spotfires at grassroots level, pay AFLW players appropriate salaries and fund a Tasmanian team before trying to expand the game beyond our shores.
JM: This weekend the fourth AFL game in China will be played, yet I'd be stunned if even one out of every million Chinese people even knew it was happening. While I'm a huge fan of trying new things, and things that are out of the box, it's clear this one just hasn't worked. Sorry, Gil, but it's probably time to can the China experiment.
MW: I don't even want to imagine the costs involved with getting two teams, administration personnel, infrastructure and technology over to China just for one lousy game. For a market which clearly couldn't care less about the action, why isn't the AFL using this money to fund other areas of the game crying out for cash? AFLW and local facilities, in particular.