There has been plenty of talk about the NAB Cup this year and whether or not it is necassary and given the amount of ACL injuries we have seen during this years’ pre season games you can understand why some AFL Coaches, in particular Dean Laidley, are questioning the length of the NAB Cup and NAB Challenge series. I personally think the NAB Cup may be a waste of time given that Clubs are not really interested in playing their stars in fear of them injuring themselves for the start of the season proper, therefore the hunger to win games is not paramount.
AFL Grand Final
On the other side of the equation. We have Mark Williams coach of Port Adelaide Power who in an interview for The Advertiser has said that he think the competition is “fantastic”. He has also taken a bit of a dig at other clubs saying “At our club, as our young guys would know, anyone who is ready and willing, we’ll play them during the season but a lot of clubs only play them this time of the year.” which I read as that he thinks that other clubs are not willing to give the young players on their list as much opportunity as the he does.
The way he has approached this years pre season games though I think has merit and other clubs and coaches may follow suit in the future. He played only 2 players over the age of 25 in their NAB Cup game against the Blues and has given the opportunities to his youngsters that they certainly need.
“I wasn’t really sure about him but having given him the last couple of weeks, I feel much more confident about playing him in a proper game than I would have if I hadn’t given him the opportunity.” On youngster Ryan Williams
How else are coaches going to find out how these kids stack up at this level if they are not given that opportunity to show what they can do?. He now feels confident that if needed Williams can fill a spot in the side.