Written by AFL Online on 19th Mar 2010
You know that football cant be far away when you get a constant stream of media reporting how teams won’t be distracted by whats happening off field at their club. After a long and often controversial summer many clubs are trying to put the past behind them and let their football make up for their off-season mistakes.
The Andrew Lovett saga has been going on for months and St Kilda tried to remove the distraction when they sacked the former Bomber last month, just months after trading their first round pick for the trouble maker. Nick Riewoldt spoke out yesterday claiming it hadn’t distracted the club. “I can’t really comment too much on all of that. All I can say is the playing group are not distracted at all. We’re focused on round one at this stage and the rest of the season that follows,”.
According to Tigers captain Chris Newman, he and his team mates won’t be distracted by Cousins recent headlines which included trips to hospital, rumoured binge drinking problems and a controversial new book. “I haven’t thought about the book for one second, so I doubt any of the other boys have,” he said.
Cats Captain Cameron Ling is trying to play down the speculation that the rumours of last years Brownlow Medalist Gary Ablett might be off to the Gold Coast next season has distracted his playing group. “Within the media and within the footy public there’s obviously a lot of interest in it, but quite honestly within the footy club, there’s nothing; it’s non-existent,” Ling said.
The Fevola/Bingle story has been wide-spread to say the least. Michael Voss was the one to come out and claim no one had been distracted by the latest Fevola scandal. “While there has been talk in the hallways, as you’d expect, there has been no distraction. We have a clear focus on what we want to achieve,” Voss said.
I’m not sure whether they actually believe what there saying at the time or if they’re just saying it because it’s the right thing to say but it’s become another line that has lost its meaning in the football world. It’s just another footy cliché.
All I know is that ‘a week is a long time in footy’ and and as long as they ‘come to play’ and try to ‘keep a lid on it’ they won’t need to worry about off-field distractions.