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Hocking says fan research underpins changes to the game


Steve Hocking has AFL fans at the forefront of his mind.

The AFL football operations manager is set to oversee changes to the game in 2019, which he says is driven by pressure from both fans and broadcasters.

He told 3AW Football the AFL has done plenty of research into the key areas fans don’t like in the game.

“We don’t want to offend the fans,” Hocking said.

“They have called out congestion number one, and they’ve called out defensive tactics number two.

“What they want to see in the game, number one is freedom.”

Hocking said recent VFL trials of rules such as starting positions and an extended goal square have shown an increase in scoring.

“We’re not necessarily doing it for that reason,” he said.

“That’s a bonus.

“What we’re trying to do is not just defend right in one pocket, because I don’t think that’s great for the game.”

Click PLAY for the full interview with Steven Hocking

Photo: Julian Smith / AAP