'Back off': Starcevich slams Kennett over expansion demands

NEWLY minted Brisbane premiership coach Craig Starcevich has taken aim at Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett and his demand for an AFLW team, saying the League should "calm the farm" on any immediate expansion plans.

The Lions were one of the teams most badly hit by player raids during the competition's recent expansion, with a number of key players leaving for rival clubs.

After winning Saturday's Grand Final at Adelaide Oval, Starcevich said the League should hold fire on introducing additional teams before the talent pool is ready.

AFLW GF Highlights: Adelaide v Brisbane

06:37 Apr 17. 2021. 4:10 PM

The Crows and Lions clash in the 2021 NAB AFLW Grand Final

"We've all had our share of grief but we've had 16 players go to other clubs, so we've done our bit to grow the competition if you don't mind," Starcevich said.

"It's painful when it happens and I reckon the next phase of the [expansion] should just calm the farm for a little while.

"Let's wait for a few years because I don't want to go through that again and I suspect the 14 current clubs don't want to go through that again."

2021 AFLW GRAND FINAL Full match coverage and stats

Kennett recently said it would be "discrimination of the worst kind" if the Hawks were not given an AFLW team for season 2022.

He is set to raise the topic at the AFL Commission meeting on May 12, where a decision will be made.

Full post-match: Lions

18:40 Apr 17. 2021. 5:28 PM

Watch Brisbane's press conference after their Grand Final match against Adelaide

Starcevich said the Hawks should have considered their position when the competition was being formed.

"If Jeff's banging the door down saying, 'Give us a team', I would say, 'Back off … where were you four years ago when we had to put the initial applications in?'" he said.

FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED Hodder is made for the big stage, captains curse strikes again

"So just hold off … we need this competition to get nice and strong and grow really well before we think about adding clubs to the competition.

"That's really important for this bunch of players because we had a few [player] losses early on and [the premiership] vindicates their decisions to stay with us where others didn't."