GEELONG superstar Patrick Dangerfield has taken a swipe at the amount of rule changes introduced in recent seasons and believes there is not enough consultation with players.
And the 26-year-old reigning Brownlow medallist has the full support of West Coast coach Adam Simpson.
Dangerfield said it was difficult to gauge whether player opinion had any influence over proposed rule changes, but acknowledged that their views counted for little.
"It's irrelevant what the players think," Dangerfield told Fox Footy on Sunday.
"Well, it seems to be – we're consulted but the rules get changed regardless, so we'll just adapt, we have to."
Like Dangerfield, Simpson questioned the number of changes implemented in recent years and hoped the AFL, under new football operations manager Simon Lethlean, would consult each of the clubs and coaches more frequently.
"You look back over the last few years and you scratch your head. The sub rule – what was that for? We had players in a vest for three years. Why?" Simpson told Fairfax Media on Saturday.
"Last year it was the 10m protected area rule. For the first three or four weeks they were paying 50m penalties and then it stopped. Why? What does that mean?
"I can understand why the AFL changes a rule for players' safety or talk about umpires throwing the ball up because it helps them when they're more mentally fragile as juniors but when they bring in rule change after rule change I just can't see the benefit of it."
"And we don't get consulted with any fair warning."
Dangerfield raised concerns about the League's decision to scrap the "third man up" ruck tactic this season, adding that it would not help ease congestion.
The radical change sees only nominated ruckmen able to compete for a throw-in or ball-up, banning other players to contest a ruck contest.
"Everything's about apparently moving the ball on and making sure the game's free-flowing," Dangerfield said.
"If you think about why most teams go 'third man up', it's to clear congestion (and) to free it up.
“So, (the rule change is) interesting."
Geelong tall Mark Blicavs was the leading exponent of the "third man up" tactic in the competition last year, amassing 154 hit-outs from 24 games.
Port Adelaide strongman Ollie Wines was ranked second overall in this area with 65 hit-outs, while Western Bulldogs superstar Marcus Bontempelli rounded out the top three with 63 hit-outs.
Despite his strong stance, Dangerfield said he was in favour of two recent changes.
"I think we continue to change rules too often," Dangerfield said.
"But for an example, I think the deliberate out of bounds rule has been a wonderful rule. It promotes keeping the ball in play and continue to be attacking.
"I think the rushed behind rule's going to be a really good one because it keeps things exciting, but I think we’ve been a bit over-zealous with some of the changes as well."