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Ex-Hawk Sam Mitchell opposes Dangerfield shorter pre-season call


AFLPA president Patrick Dangerfield called for the AFL pre-season to be shortened on SEN Mornings earlier in the week, but recently retired Hawk Sam Mitchell isn't on the same page.

The Geelong superstar believes we’ll eventually get to a point where pre-season will begin in January.

“Length of the pre-season, I think a bit of work needs to be done around it,” Dangerfield said on SEN Mornings.

“We’ve got the longest pre-season in world sports. I think at some stage we’ll see senior players returning in January and the players one to four years, there’d be some sort of training camp.

“To engage pre-season at the moment, you return for two weeks then you’ve got a three-week Christmas break and then you’re back to training, it’s a little bit untidy.

“I think eventually we’ll get to a stage where it would be a build-up over eight weeks in that January period.”

However, Mitchell, an assistant coach at Hawthorn, personally doesn’t believe that would be in the best interest of the players.

“I probably have a differing opinion to Patrick. The nasty mix for young people in my view is if you’ve got a fair bit of money and a fair bit of time, then things can in general go wrong,” Mitchell told AFL Nation.

“If players are spending that time on education and getting some school learning then fine, but if they’re spending it in Mykonos or London or whatever players do in their holidays these days, do they need four months off to go on holidays, I’m not sure?

“If it’s to extend the holiday period, I’m not sure that’s what’s best for players despite the players probably wanting that themselves.

“To be honest, I fought against things like that as a player.”

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