West Coast coach Adam Simpson has issued a rare public statement after being battered over his comments comparing kids from private schools to players deemed riskier draft prospects.

The furore erupted during a radio interview earlier this week when Simpson was trying to highlight the flow-on effects from the AFL’s decision to cut the football department soft cap by more than a third.

Simpson said now that clubs had fewer resources, they couldn’t afford to take as many risks in the draft on players who might need more support.

He went on to say that clubs might end up taking the safer option of drafting players who attend a private school and whose parents are still married.

‘Not too much of a hassle’

“You really want to go for the talent and gee this kid needs a lot of help, we can resource that with support around either mental health issues or family support or learning difficulties or these type of things that you’re happy to take a risk on because you can resource it,” he said in the interview.

“We just don’t have that anymore, and you’re more inclined to go safer in the draft and you’ll draft the same type of player.

“You know, mum and dad are still married, the kids go to the private school.

“They’re not too much of a hassle off-field.”

Adam Simpson
Eagles coach Adam Simpson has sought to clarify remarks he made about private school recruitment. Credit: AAP

Simpson was particularly slammed for the private school comment.

The 2018 premiership coach said he didn’t mean it literally, but rather was taking it to the extreme to raise a point.

He believes his original comments were taken out of context.

Chevron Right Icon

‘You know, mum and dad are still married, the kids go to the private school … They’re not too much of a hassle off-field.’

“The point I was making around drafting young players in the current environment with football department resources being stretched, is that it becomes more difficult to provide the necessary support to help some kids succeed,” Simpson said in a statement.

“Our club and I have always supported diversity and the various pathways available to them to play at the highest level and we will continue to do so.

“We all love those great stories and celebrate the people who take different journeys to make their mark on the game.

“We all want to see risk-takers, don’t we?

“We will always select the best players and people for our club.

“I sincerely apologise if I have offended anyone with the reports that have stemmed from the initial interview.

“It was never my intent – nor has it been the club’s position – that any players would receive preferential treatment.”

West coach clarifies private school remark
Source:
Source 1

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here