Bye bye: commentator and Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy has said all byes should be scrapped from the season schedule. Photo: JULIAN SMITH/ AAP IMAGE

Gerard Healy calls on AFL to scrap all byes

April 22, 2021 BY
BROWNLOW Medallist Gerard Healy has called on the AFL to scrap all current byes during the season.

Clubs are currently given one bye during the season, while there’s also a week’s break between the end of the home and away rounds and the start of the finals series.

There’s been some talk in recent weeks about shifting the current post-season bye to allow a week’s gap between the two preliminary finals and the grand final, largely as a result of the AFL mandating a minimum of 12 days off if any player suffers a concussion.

Healy said he wasn’t a fan of that idea, saying that all byes should be wound back by the AFL.

“We’ve lost a lot of players for injuries and we haven’t seemed to think it’s anything except being luck of the draw,” he said on AFL Nation.

“I think everyone is trying to compare this (proposed bye before the grand final) to the other bye (post-season), the other bye is finishing on Sunday and we play our first final on a Thursday.

“If you play it the other way, you finish the preliminary finals on the Saturday and it’s a full two weeks compared to 10 days (off).

“For the sake of on average one person (who could be injured or concussed), I don’t think we should be changing the flow. I personally think we should get rid of all the byes, I’m not a bye fan.

“I think that there’s enough pressure from coaches to get rid of that bye and it’s coming from guys like (Richmond coach) Damien Hardwick, who have seen it working against them.

“If you’re going to change the bye, get rid of it.”