Neil Craig is a potential candidate for a seat on the Laws of the Game Committee
AFL COACHES appear set to get their wish and have a representative on the Laws of the Game Committee.
But it won't be Sydney Swans premiership coach John Longmire.
The senior coaches met in Melbourne last week ahead of the AFL season launch and were told that the League was open to the idea of having a senior coach or coaching identity added to the committee.
AFL Coaches Association chief executive Danny Frawley told AFL.com.au that the offer was welcome and that the coaches were considering the next step.
"We're keen to meet (incoming AFL football operations manager) Mark Evans and establish how it would work and what sort on input we could have," Frawley said.
Longmire made an impressive presentation to the AFL Commission last December about on-field trends and the future of coaching and is highly regarded by the AFL executive. Media reports on Wednesday suggested he could be installed within a week.
However it is unlikely that any senior coach will take their place on the committee, with the coaches instead likely to nominate an experienced assistant or perhaps a former senior coach to join the group.
The clubs have been asked to compile a shortlist of potential candidates. Frawley would not comment on who might feature, but it is believed that those up for consideration include Rob Wiley (Carlton), Darren Crocker (North Melbourne), Neil Craig (Melbourne) and Rodney Eade (Collingwood) – all veterans of the AFL coaching scene.
Relations between the coaches and the Laws of the Game Committee have soured in recent times.
Griping from the coaches during the NAB Cup about the interchange cap led former Richmond champion and longstanding panel member Kevin Bartlett to say on his SEN radio show that the coaches didn't have "one single thought when they are coaching about what is good for the game".
While the coaches laughed off Bartlett's comments in public, they felt differently when they met last week and despite the panel's olive branch invitation to Carlton coach Mick Malthouse to attend their most recent meeting – which he accepted – the coaches are looking to have permanent representation.
But they also need to hear from the AFL that their views are needed and welcome and that their presence on the panel will not be just a token gesture.
This will be one of the first big ticket items for Evans when he begins his new role with the AFL on Tuesday.
He will become the new chairman of the Laws of the Game Committee. The remainder of the panel comprises Bartlett, Joel Bowden, Leigh Matthews, Luke Power, Rowan Sawers, Michael Sexton, Beau Waters and Shane McCurry.
Ashley Browne is a senior writer for AFL Media. @afl_hashbrowne