AFL urged to adopt coach trade

The manager of basketball star Andrew Bogut says the natural evolution of the AFL could eventually allow senior coaches under contract to follow the American model and be traded to another club for draft picks and cash.

As Melbourne begins its search for an experienced new coach, Bruce Kaider, who also guides the careers of AFL players at One Management, said the AFL community was still adjusting to player free agency.

But the next step could include more options for coaches, as has again been seen in the NBA in recent weeks with under-contract Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers considering a shift to the Los Angeles Clippers. As part of a package deal involving players, the Celtics could also receive draft picks and cash directly in return for Rivers.

The New York Knicks were given a first-round draft pick and $1million compensation when contracted coach Pat Riley left for the Miami Heat in 1995.

”I don’t think the [AFL] industry would accept anything like that at this point but I guess the evolution of where we are going, and we follow US sport in a lot of the things we do, especially in the AFL, I wouldn’t say never,” Kaider said.

”If we call ourselves innovators and we want to evolve, then we have got to look at these models overseas and see if that might help or hinder the game moving forward.

”Free agency has been tested and is probably still in its infancy. Mid-season trading is probably the next thing that might evolve as part of this.

”Once we get all those rights over the next five or 10 years, maybe the next evolution is you can include a coach as part of a deal and cash.”

This option, for instance, would allow the Demons to tempt Hawthorn with high draft picks and even cash if they were desperate enough to secure Alastair Clarkson, who has a year to run on his contract.

The Demons offered Clarkson a lucrative deal in 2011 when he was coming off contract but he opted to remain at Hawthorn.

The AFL Coaches Association maintains its focus is on coaches avoiding breaking their contracts, an issue that has also been of concern to league chief executive Andrew Demetriou.

AFL legend Leigh Matthews has urged the Demons not to go through the traditional interview process in their search for a replacement for Mark Neeld.

Matthews says the interview process can be flawed, as prospective coaches can answer questions well during this stage and present well, but the reality is they aren’t suited to the pressures the role really involves.

He wants the Demons to simply target the man they are after.

”I am not talking head-hunting coaches currently coaching. I am not suggesting that one iota. But head-hunt who might be available,” Matthews said on Wednesday.

Geelong coach Chris Scott has recommended former Essendon coach Matthew Knights for the role. Knights is in his second season as coach of the Cats’ VFL team. ”The most impressive thing about Matty coming into our system is how he has embraced Geelong,” Scott said.

”I think he would be an outstanding candidate.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.