AFL $3m man needs to earn ‘respect’
Footy legend Matthew Lloyd says star St Kilda recruit Brad Crouch must "earn respect" after such a high profile free agency move.
Crouch's reported $2.8 million move to the Saints came during a turbulent off-season, which included a two-match suspension for violating the AFL's illicit drugs policy.
The former Crows star was found to be in possession of an illicit substance by police on September 28 in Adelaide.
He and teammate Tyson Stengle were not charged, but both have been suspended by the league.
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Crouch has had to win the respect of his St Kilda teammates this pre-season and now has the tough prospect of winning the respect from the rest of the league while playing in the intense scrutiny of Melbourne.
Lloyd told Channel 9, Crouch, one of the Crows' best players in recent years, is still yet to prove himself as a genuine superstar.
"He's (Crouch) an interesting one because he's been an accumulator for a lot of his career, doesn't kick many goals," Lloyd said.
"But on the Melbourne big stage, we will watch him a lot closer, like we have Dylan Shiel over the past 12 to 24 months.
"How good is Brad Crouch? He's a best and fairest winner at the Adelaide Crows... but he hasn't got the respect of a lot of people in the AFL.
"He comes with a bit of baggage as well, but I think for what St Kilda need, he was a good acquisition... they lost Jack Steven, so I think Brad Crouch is a good recruitment for them if he's at his best."
"They suit the way I play, they're going the right way, they're a very young side as well, they've got a very bright future. I'd say that's probably the overriding thing," he said.
"It got to the stage for me where it was just a complete no-brainer. The decision was just made and it was really clear for me."
COACHES CLASH OVER UMPIRE PROPOSAL
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick and Bulldogs mentor Luke Beveridge have clashed over a proposal to give boundary umpires and goal umpires the power to hand out on-field free-kicks.
Hardwick this week supported the concept in an attempt to take pressure off the on-field umpires, who have the demands of policing action on and off the ball.
"There's nine umpires on the ground - boundary umpires, goal umpires and (field umpires). We can use them better," Hardwick told the AFL.
"We've got some great umpires. I want these guys to be able to umpire until they're 50 or 60 years of age. At the moment they're done by 40 because they've got to run so far. There has to be a better way."
Beveridge on Wednesday cautioned against the move because of the likely inconsistency of decisions made across such a large group of whistleblowers.
He says it would also put more questions into the heads of umpire's regarding which of them has jurisdiction to hand out the free kicks.
"No (I wouldn't support that)," Beveridge told SEN Breakfast.
"I think one of the hardest things for the three field umpires is understanding who is making the decision.
"If you've got a boundary umpire, a goal umpire and a field umpire in the same vicinity, you could get three blokes making a decision and three different decisions at the same time.
"I just can't see that working."
Originally published as AFL $3m man needs to earn 'respect'