The record books say Mick Malthouse will tie with Collingwood legend Jock McHale this weekend for most AFL games coached.
Richmond great Kevin Bartlett says that’s a lie.
Malthouse will coach his 714th AFL match in, of all places, the New Zealand capital of Wellington on Anzac Day, which officially brings him level with McHale.
But Bartlett believes it won’t be a record-equalling match but a record-breaker.
Recalling the 1930 grand final, which McHale missed with the flu, Bartlett said it was time for the AFL authorities to correct the records.
“He wasn’t at the game, he was coach of Collingwood but did not coach the team on that day, Bartlett said on his show for Melbourne radio station SEN.
“This is an historical lie that the AFL and its historians continue to perpetuate, for what reason I don’t know, embarrassment maybe.
“The AFL does not recognise Alastair Clarkson coached Hawthorn for five games when ill last year … yet they recognise McHale.”
Bartlett aired the case for the defence given by AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan.
“He did all the preparation, the team selection, pretty much everything that was done to win that game was done by McHale,” McLachlan said.
“Ultimately the decision was made that the premiership coach in 1930 was Jock McHale and the game was awarded to him.”
Either way, Malthouse is set to eclipse McHale’s record with game No.715 when he leads Carlton against his and McHale’s old team Collingwood next Friday night.
FETCH MY WALKIN’ STICK: THE AFL’S LONGEST-SERVING COACHES
714 – Jock McHale (Collingwood)
713* – Mick Malthouse (Footscray, West Coast, Collingwood, Carlton)
679 – Kevin Sheedy (Essendon, GWS Giants)
576 – Allan Jeans (St Kilda, Hawthorn, Richmond)
522 – Tom Hafey (Richmond, Collingwood, Geelong, Sydney)
518 – David Parkin (Hawthorn, Carlton, Fitzroy)
514 – Ron Barassi (Melbourne, Carlton, North Melbourne, Sydney)