Suns players walk from the field.
Suns players walk from the field.

Schwass calls for the AFL to ‘go back to 16 teams’

FORMER North Melbourne premiership player Wayne Schwass says that he would remove both expansion clubs if he was in charge of the AFL.

Both Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney find themselves outside the top eight after Round 13, with Gold Coast yet to feature in the finals since entering the AFL in 2011.

Schwass believes the AFL talent pool is "diluted" and that the standard of the competition has dropped since the two clubs joined the competition.

"I would remove both of the start-up teams and go back to 16 teams," Schwass said.

"I think we're starting to see the real impact of two new introductory teams on the standard of football across the country.

"I would redistribute the players to the other 16 existing clubs."

Despite having led by 31 points going into the final quarter on Saturday night, the Suns were overrun by the Saints who pulled off a stunning come from behind victory at Metricon Stadium.

The Suns have struggled since their inception. Picture: Chris Hyde, Getty Images.
The Suns have struggled since their inception. Picture: Chris Hyde, Getty Images.

The struggling Suns have had an exodus of players in recent years, with current Suns co-captain Tom Lynch expected to return to Victoria at the end of the season.

Schwass also suggested that by the AFL providing more money to the two expansion clubs, that the remaining clubs were being compromised.

"The future right at the moment is not bright," Schwass said.

"And two clubs are receiving additional (AFL) support and they will probably more than likely receive more support, especially the Gold Coast."

"It's not just the support the AFL decides to give to those clubs, because the other clubs are paying a price.

"Their future is being impacted and compromised because of the concessions given to other teams."

Dejected GWS Giants player Toby Greene after their Preliminary Final.
Dejected GWS Giants player Toby Greene after their Preliminary Final.
The GWS Giants have been the more successful of the two expansion clubs, having played finals in 2016 and 2017 - but face an uphill battle to reach the finals in 2018, after suffering injuries to key players and having an early season form slump.

"How long's it going to take? I was at Sydney for five years, the Sydney Swans were in a dire position in my first couple of years," he said.

"It's taken the club 25, 30 years. The Giants have a 25 to 35 year build here to try and win the hearts and minds of the Sydney population.

"Is that going to happen? We don't know and the Gold Coast Suns, you look at history with regards to all other sporting codes and teams that have been on that particular part of the eastern seaboard, they haven't worked."



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