Mick Malthouse has teed off on players who he says are using wanting to go home as an excuse to push through trades.
Writing in the Herald Sun, Malthouse said that players wanting to go home “cuts no ice” with him.
“Too often now, young players — contracted or not — are deciding they’ve had enough of their clubs and are using the line “I want to go home” to get traded,” he said.
“I can’t tell you how much I detest that excuse.”
Malthouse said that players should feel lucky that they’re getting to play AFL footy at all.
“When a young man nominates for the draft, he nominates to be picked up by one of 18 clubs,” he wrote.
“He doesn’t choose which club he goes to, the club chooses him.
“He is lucky to go to any club, to live out his dream of playing in the AFL.”
Malthouse said that part of a footy career is learning to be resilient in the face of adversity like homesickness, and that players from Tasmania, the Northern Territory or Canberra can’t go home.
He also brought up American sports, where being moved far from home is common.
“In the US, most people leave home to attend college, so moving states to play professional sport isn’t a big issue,” he said.
“It’s similar in the UK.
“AFL clubs aren’t lily white either. I know that. Loyalty is convenient for footballers and clubs.
“But we must get over the “I want to go home” syndrome quick smart, especially with free agency hanging over everyone’s heads.”