AFL final not a battle of coaches: Pyke

Adelaide coach Don Pyke isn’t buying it.

Pyke reckons Friday night’s AFL preliminary final won’t hinge on his coaching box battle with Geelong counterpart Chris Scott.

While Scott has been hailed for his tactical genius in the Cats’ semi-final win against Sydney, Pyke believes the impact of coaches can be overblown.

And so is dubbing the preliminary final as a battle of the coaches.

“I don’t really think it’s about myself or him,” Pyke said ahead of the Adelaide Oval fixture.

“It’s about the teams and the players. They are the ones that do it.

“So I don’t really buy into that side of it.

“We prepare our teams. We understand the strengths of our teams. And we understand how we want to play.

“Both teams have got to this point playing some really good, strong footy. There’s no reason to go away from that.”

Pyke predicted Scott would tinker with Geelong’s tactics that delivered their semi-final triumph.

“I will expect some changes, some subtle tweaks, which is really what they did well last week against Sydney, to their credit,” he said.

“But we will prepare to play the way we want to play.”

Adelaide and Geelong met twice in the home-and-away season, for one win each.

The Cats prevailed in Geelong in round 11; the Crows won a round 18 rematch in Adelaide to snap a five-game losing streak to the Cats.

“We have learnt out of both of them,” Pyke said.

“And it’s not just the Geelong games we have learnt out of, we have learnt out of other games later in the year.

“I’m sure they will come with a clear plan in terms of how to beat us.

“And we will come with a clear plan of what we think is going to get it done against Geelong.

“That is the joy of this time of year, there’s a great opportunity that presents to win a prelim final.”

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