Brayden Maynard during Collingwood's training session at Victoria Park on December 4, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

BRAYDEN Maynard has backed the AFL's crackdown on smothers that was prompted by the Collingwood star's own controversial Tribunal case.

The lead item on a number of proposed rule changes sent to clubs on Thursday was the AFL's bid to tighten tribunal rules on smothers.

In September, Maynard appeared at the Tribunal in a marathon four-hour hearing after he jumped off the ground to smother a kick from Melbourne midfielder Angus Brayshaw in the qualifying final.

Brayshaw was concussed in the incident, ultimately ending his season.


The Magpie defender was cleared, much to new AFL football boss Laura Kane's frustration, and went on to play in their Grand Final win over Brisbane.

Maynard addressed the proposed rule changes, which still need to be ticked off by the League's commission in February.

"Whatever the AFL wants is something that we have to follow," the 27-year-old said.

"I feel like it's obviously the right thing to do because everyone's health is a priority.

"For them to bring out that rule, obviously (I'm) all for it and I'm definitely in favour."

Brayden Maynard and Jack Viney clash during the qualifying final between Collingwood and Melbourne at the MCG on September 7, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Maynard said players would have to adapt their playing style to the rule change, but he was confident they would cope.

"Yes, it's a footy act, but the AFL can make rules, you've just got to follow them," he said.

"You can't argue with them, it is what it is. We've just got to move on and play footy.

"We've had to adjust to a lot of rules over the years, so we'll be fine."

The Magpie vice-captain has been friends with Brayshaw since they played junior football together more than a decade ago.

Angus Brayshaw runs laps at Melbourne training on September 12, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

But the incident complicated the pair's friendship, with Melbourne players and coaches fuming about Maynard taking flowers and wine to Brayshaw's house ahead of the Tribunal case.

Brayshaw, who endured serious concussion issues early in his career, is back training with the Demons on a modified program, and the club hopes he can return for contact sessions before next season.

"I saw 'Gus' (Brayshaw) a month or two ago, I reached out just to see how he was going to check in," Maynard said.

"I think we're on good terms now. We've moved on from that and it'll be interesting to sort of see what happens in 2024."