Michael Voss sounds warning in AFL extra-time debate

Shayne Hope |

Carlton coach Michael Voss expresses his opinion on the extra-time debate.
Carlton coach Michael Voss expresses his opinion on the extra-time debate.

Carlton coach Michael Voss has backed Essendon counterpart Brad Scott’s call to let AFL fans decide the extra-time debate following the Anzac Day draw.

But the Blues’ boss has also warned of the increased physical demands on players if additional minutes are played to decide a winner in tied home-and-away matches.

A crowd of 93,644 were left in stunned silence at the end of Thursday’s epic contest, with Essendon and Collingwood locked at 12.13 (85) apiece.

It was Scott’s first draw as a coach after 240 previous matches in charge of the Bombers and North Melbourne, and sparked renewed calls for extra time in home-and-away matches.

Scott, who was the AFL’s general manager of football before returning to coaching, felt football supporters would be best placed to make a decision via a league-run poll.

His former Brisbane Lions premiership teammate Voss agreed – with one caveat.

“I’d hand that over to supporters to see where they would like to go with that and what the future looks like,” Voss told reporters on Friday.

“There is higher demands if you choose to go down that path – that’s the only consideration.

“If that was to happen a couple of weeks in a row, that would make things interesting.

“But I can see why there’s an argument for and I can also see why there’s an argument against.

“I traditionally like it the way that it is but I’d be happy to lean on others to come up with that final call.”

The AFL introduced extra time for lead-up finals matches more than 30 years ago and got rid of the grand-final draw following the tied 2010 decider between Collingwood and St Kilda.

The draw on Anzac Day was the first this season, after two were played out last year.

It was only the fifth draw in 247 AFL/VFL meetings between old rivals Essendon and Collingwood, and their first since the fabled 1995 Anzac Day encounter.

“If you ask the fans I think they probably want a result,” Scott said after the match.

“It’s an even competition and I think we fixed the major one – we don’t want a draw in a grand final, as an industry.

“But I don’t have a strong view for and against (extra time in home-and-away matches). If I was at the AFL, I’d poll the fans.”

Essendon captain Zach Merrett won the Anzac Day Medal as best afield but was left with a hollow feeling after the match.

He would have preferred additional time to decide a winner despite experiencing cramp in his hamstrings towards the end of the contest.

“I love competing, I love winning and I hate losing, so I would love to have played for an extra five or 10 minutes to get a result,” Merrett said.

“But it’s a unique feeling walking off with no team song for both (sides).”

Collingwood coach Craig McRae felt a draw was a fair result at the end of a see-sawing affair.

“We fought for 120 minutes and we couldn’t find a margin,” McRae said.

“I’ll leave that up to others to decide whether we need more time. It was a great game.”