AFL greats back draft lottery

Two modern-day greats support an AFL draft lottery to try to remove the perception of tanking.

Paul Roos and Michael Voss on Wednesday backed the call of Collingwood chief Gary Pert for a lottery for the first four picks in the draft.

“I have been a massive supporter of it for probably the last 10 years, ever since the tanking, or whatever people want to talk about (started),” Roos told reporters in Melbourne.

“It’s already started again this week so I think (a lottery) is a clear solution.”

Triple premiership captain Voss, now an assistant coach at Port Adelaide, said the concept of a lottery “has got some genuine merit that they should entertain.”

Tanking has again come to the fore as competition cellar-dwellers Fremantle and Essendon prepare to face off this weekend, with the loser one step closer to claiming the prized No.1 pick at this year’s draft.

While backing a lottery, Voss and Roos said the spotlight would move to the fourth and fifth-worst teams.

“I suppose the debate then is do you tank from being the fifth-worst team to be the fourth-worst? Do you try and go down the ladder to get into the lottery?” Roos said.

“That’s the next phase of it. But I think having that system certainly clears up a lot of the intrigue around the end of the season and what teams are going to do, because you’re just not guaranteed to get the No.1 draft pick.”

Voss said there would always be conjecture about tanking, no matter the system.

“One part of me leans to the fact we’ll start talking about the bottom four. All it (a lottery) does is the focus shifts,” Voss said.

“But I like the concept of a fact that four go into a poll and we find out at the end of the season who is the beneficiary.”

Voss said there was a “natural perspective” that tanking exists, but not within clubs.

“You talk at club-land and every single week we go out to win,” he said.

Demons coach Roos highlighted the balance between player management and tanking.

“When you’re out of finals contention and there’s four or five rounds to go you’re often thinking about the next year,” Roos said.

“You’re not thinking about the draft or getting a draft pick, you’re thinking about getting players in for an operation so they can start training in November, so that’s very different (to tanking).”

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