‘Embarrassing’: AFL players slammed for ‘putrid’ kicking
MELBOURNE great Garry Lyon has slammed the kicking standards of current AFL players, saying players' skills were as bad as he'd ever seen.
Lyon said players were having issues kicking inside 50, goal kicking and general field kicking.
"Kicking in footy right now is as bad as I've ever seen it," he said on SEN Breakfast.
"(Kicking) for goal, kicking inside 50 and some of the general field kicking, at some stage you've just got to say enough is enough.
"These are professional full-time footballers who have more access to resources and time than ever before and it is putrid."
When queried whether the sheer amount of running was contributing to players' poor skills, Lyon said it wasn't an excuse, as players were being trained to be endurance athletes.
Lyon highlighted Jack Steven's kick to Jake Carlisle in the closing minutes of St Kilda's draw with GWS as a prime example of the issues emerging in the modern game.
While Carlisle should have marked the ball overhead - and arguably then deserved a free for a high spoil from Phil Davis - Steven could also have put the ball out in front of his Saints teammate.
"Back when we played we weren't fit enough to be able to play in that manner because we didn't train as much as they do in these days," Lyon said.
"We were never required to run the way that the current player is.
"They train them to be athletes and to run and be fit and then Jack Steven couldn't make a 20-metre kick to Jake Carlisle."
Essendon great Tim Watson said he believed skill errors could at least be partially attributed to the sheer amount of running demanded of players in the modern game, defending Steven after a game where he'd worked hard all day.
"He was absolutely exhausted and the players at Etihad Stadium yesterday, you could tell the skills were dropping off because players were so tired," he said on SEN Breakfast.
But Lyon said players were "paid to execute" their skills at the top level.
"Well you're paid to execute," he said.
"They are just embarrassing, some of the blokes kicking a footy today."