Just In:West Coast’s decision to allow Harley Reid to visit his family in Victoria during a rest period has come under scrutiny…Read More.

AFL legend Paul Roos has raised concerns about West Coast’s decision to let Harley Reid visit his family during his rest period, suggesting it might be an example of player power going too far.

Reid was rested for West Coast’s Round 7 game against Gold Coast, with Eagles coach Adam Simpson indicating that internal metrics showed the 19-year-old’s body was “flagging.”

As a result, Reid was granted the opportunity to travel back to Victoria to spend time with his family during his week off.

Paul Roos, who played 356 games for Fitzroy and Sydney, criticized West Coast’s decision to allow Harley Reid to fly across the country to visit his family during his rest period, citing the physical strain that long flights can have on players based in Perth.

“It seems ridiculous to let him fly back and forth when flights are a significant part of the physical toll for West Coast and Freo players,” Roos commented on the ABC’s AFL Daily podcast.

He continued, “If he’s not fit to play, then why is he fit to fly across the country to see his family? It might be part of his recruitment deal as a No. 1 draft pick, but it feels like a lot of bending over backwards to accommodate him.

“I just don’t get it. He’s an AFL player being paid to play AFL football, and his team has a game to play.”

Roos said if Reid was injured and not available, then he should be in rehab and at home in Western Australia.

“But I understand that if you want to keep the No.1 draft pick (at the club) and you’re strategising so he can to back and see his family,” he said.

We shouldn’t be talking about it because he should be playing, and 20-30 years ago he would be playing. But now, we’ve got this ridiculous complexity around free agency.

“Let’s not forget what happened with Jason Horne-Francis. He played one year at the North Melbourne Football Club and got traded, so the players have all the power now.”

Reid will return for Saturday night’s clash against Essendon after his week off, but Roos said West Coast was running the risk of dropping its standards by catering for a single player.

“It’s not a great look for the West Coast Eagles, let’s be perfectly frank,” he said.

If they lose him and sacrifice the standards at the footy club, then it’s a lose-lose. The standards of the football club should always override a player every single time.

“That’s not to say it’s not a part of the discussion with the leadership group, and the leadership group might’ve said it’s fine, but if you start dropping your standards, you stand for nothing.”

Roos, who coached Sydney between 2002 and 2010, suggested clubs should weigh up the “go-home” factor heavily when drafting players from interstate. He revealed how the Swans had chosen future club captain Jarrad McVeigh in the 2002 draft over other prospects purely because he was from New South Wales.

“We had pick five and we went for Jarrad McVeigh because he was a NSW kid, 100 per cent,” he recalled.

We were weighing up two or three players with that pick, one I remember was a Victorian kid, and we took Jarrad McVeigh because we knew he was going to stay in NSW.

“You have to weigh it up. I would be surprised had West Coast not weighed up trading the No.1 pick last year knowing it was Harley Reid. It’s a huge risk.

“If North Melbourne had traded the No.1 pick instead of taking Jason Horne-Francis, they would’ve got a lot more for it. Now it’s tough to do, but they would’ve had those conversations.”

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