Honestly, breaking up can be hard to do in AFL

HONESTY is supposed to be the best policy. But it's been a bitter pill for some in the AFL.

Let's start with the aftermath of what could be likened to a couple of awkward break-ups.

Picture all parties at a really swish restaurant - they're all on AFL wages after all.

Over in one corner is the Brisbane Lions giving former skipper Jed Adcock the 'it's not you, it's me' line.

They're going down the youth path and so with opportunities for the 29-year-old limited next season, he's free to see other people, namely opposition club list managers.

Over in another corner is Lachie Henderson coming clean with Carlton and admitting 'well, it is you ... and I think we should make a clean break'.

The 25-year-old wants to bring a little joy back into his playing career and so informs the struggling club he wishes to be traded at the end of the season.

Showing the door to a loyal 200-game servant, while at the same time facing an ongoing battle with player retention, the Lions are criticised for sending a poor message.

Henderson is attacked by league boss Gill McLachlan, among others, for informing the Blues of his decision with three rounds left to play.

In contrast, Adcock will play out the season after accepting the decision, and Henderson won't, his mum Vonni making it clear on Melbourne radio the Blues decided against it.

Now we don't want the AFL going down the path of the NRL where players can not only announce mid-season they won't be with a club the following year, but even sign with a rival.

Clubs and their supporters want to know that a player is committed to their cause until the very end - even if it means perhaps burying their head in the sand until then.

While they may be resigned to losing him, how would Adelaide fans react if Paddy Dangerfield announced now, with the Crows still pushing for finals, that he was definitely leaving?

But Henderson, who is said to have been the 'sensitive one' of the Blues playing group, thought he was doing the right thing by a club that certainly won't be making the finals and giving it an extra few weeks to plan for the trade period (and most likely a deal with Geelong).

The reaction, though, will certainly make others in similar situations think twice in future about being honest.

We also had the claims that there was now a divide in the Lions camp over the delivery of some brutal 'home truths'.

Geelong did a similar thing in the mid-2000s, in particular to a young forward pocket who wasn't realising his potential, Gary Ablett.

Lions skipper Tom Rockliff summed it up well on ABC radio: "It's important that you're honest with each other. You don't want to p... in each other's pockets and tell you everything's sunny when it's not."

It shows there is still a time and a place for the truth - even if some can't handle it.


Mike Pyke: "Learnt this week that club can tell player he's not wanted but player can't tell club. Can't everyone be happy with 4 weeks notice"

Terry Wallace: "Very supportive of the Lions attempts to maintain players ... but the Adcock decision sends poor messages"

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