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Simpson backtracks on 'private school' comments


Eagles coach Adam Simpson has apologised for comments claiming AFL clubs would only draft kids from private schools and stable families due to the reduced soft cap, saying "I really didn't mean it."

Simpson had told Sportsday on Wednesday the cuts to the soft cap and resources had made it harder to develop draftees who might struggle to adjust to the AFL lifestyle.

“You’re more inclined to go safer in the draft and you’ll draft the same type of player – Mum and Dad are still married, kids go to the private school, not too much of a hassle off-field,” Simpson said on Wednesday.

“We’re probably a coach short and a couple of medicos short as well and I’ve said this before but it does affect who you draft and develop.”

However, after realising the comments had been misinterpreted, Simpson told AFL Nation on Friday he severely regreteted his phrasing.

"It was a really poor analogy on reflection," he said.

"Of course we’re not going to do that, it was probably taken as literal (when it wasn't meant that way). I’ve offended some people and I need to own that and use a better analogy."

"I got it wrong, I need to own it. Unfortunately that’s the circumstance.

"Obviously (the club) doesn’t agree with that view. They’ve been pretty supportive of me, they know where I’m coming from.

"We’ve hopefully dealt with it and people understand thats not what I was trying to portray and thats not who I am and definitely not what the club represents

"I do understand the concerns with the comments if they were taken as literal. I’ve got total empathy and I really apologise for that, but I really didnt mean it. Like I said I can’t do much more than own it."

The AFL players' association were in touch with the Eagles on Friday to investigate the nature of the comments.

"I think they’ve spoken to the club and cleared alot of stuff up… It’s disappointing on the eve of the game for us that we’ve got to deal with this stuff, self inflicted too," Simpson said.

West Coast are set to take on St Kilda at Optus stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Adam Simpson

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