Richmond champion Kevin Bartlett says the AFL should be alarmed by the spike in players suffering from heart irregularities this season.
Collingwood’s Kayle Kirby, St Kilda’s Dylan Roberton and Carlton duo Caleb Marchbank and Matthew Kreuzer have all suffered heart complaints, with Kirby and Roberton both collapsing while in the field of play.
Bartlett believes there could be a link between the spate of heart problems and the increased volume of training clubs implement during their preseasons.
“Is anyone in the AFL concerned why we’re having a spate of heart problems? Bartlett told SEN's KB and The Doc.
“I think it’s something that the AFL should be looking at. I’ve been in football for a long time, this is completely new territory for me.
“For four players to go down, players collapsing on the field. Each year we hear about preseason training; it goes up a notch, it goes up a notch, it goes up a notch.
“Are we putting players through so much stress that maybe it’s causing some of these problems? Preseason seems to be extremely long and they go on these camps and arduous camps.
“Each year they say: ‘we thought we had a hard preseason last year, well add another 15 per cent this year then the next year add another 15 per cent.’
“For me, to have four players go down and players collapsing on the field, I just wonder whether someone should look into it.”
SEN Time On host Sam McClure says the AFL Players Association have been wanting players to be given more time off in between seasons.
“The bubbling story over the last 12 to 24 months has been that the AFLPA and its constituents, obviously the players, have been pushing hard for longer time off,” McClure said.
“It’s been mentioned before that the new head of footy at the AFL Steve Hocking, his utopia and ideal AFL system sees a two month period where all clubs and the AFL shut down completely.
“I think there’s absolutely an argument to be made.”
Listen to Kevin Bartlett and Sam McClure discuss the worrying trend of AFL heart problems on SEN's KB and The Doc in the player below