Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has told the league to butt out of clubs’ training programs, following reports this morning that boxing would be banned.
Earlier this season, Hawthorn forward Mitchell Lewis was concussed in a sparring session with twin tall Jacob Koschitzke, and missed a meeting with Sydney.
The competition cleared Hawthorn after an investigation, but ruled that boxing between players and officials is no longer allowed.
“The AFL should never be in the business of telling clubs how they can train and how they can’t train,” he told a press conference.
“It’s important that messages out of AFL House aren’t too directive, and too arbitrary around what you can and can’t do.
“Our boxing coach Johnny does a magnificent job with our players one on one, there’s a lot of sparring with mitts.
“Just because one club gets it wrong from a risk management point of view doesn’t mean that every other club, all of a sudden, becomes vulnerable and needs to eliminate the risk.”
Beveridge’s comments came before the distinction had been made, having already established that his players don’t spar with one another in their strength and conditioning training.
“Until we get something formal, we won’t even take much notice,” he continued.
“We’ll continue boxing with Johnny. It’s a really important part of our program, an important conditioning aspect of what we do.”
Back on top of the table, Beveridge and the Bulldogs will host Adelaide at Mars Stadium on Saturday afternoon.