North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has revealed Leigh Matthews’ solution to players missing finals for the birth of a child: time your conception efforts.
Brad Scott has revealed one of former coach Leigh Matthews’ lesser-known edicts during Brisbane’s golden AFL era: time your conception efforts.
Lions forward Daniel Bradshaw became one of the first AFL players to put the birth of his baby before playing in a final.
Bradshaw missed Brisbane’s semi-final against Carlton at the MCG in 2000, pulling out of the match to be with wife Angie for the birth of their first son Jake.
Matthews was supportive of the decision, even after the Blues walloped Brisbane by 82 points.
But when it came time for pre-season training before the Lions’ successful 2001 campaign, Matthews made it clear that he didn’t want any players to be faced with Bradshaw’s dilemma.
“He told us to make sure … don’t have unprotected sex with your wives in January,” Scott recalled on Fox Footy.
“I said to Leigh, I think that’s a bit beyond your jurisdiction.
“I laughed and he didn’t.”
The Lions made the next four grand finals, celebrating premierships in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
“We didn’t have anyone miss a prelim (because of a birth) after that,” Scott said.
Scott avoided a similar situation last week, wife Penny and the North Melbourne coach welcoming their first child – Fletcher Charles Scott – into the world on Tuesday.
The Kangaroos coach said there was no way known he was going to miss the side’s semi-final against Geelong on Friday night.
“We talked about that extensively and Penny wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Scott said.
“She’s got really great family support and my family support, so her instruction was `you do what you have to do’.
“You’ve got responsibilities, get there when you can.”