2004 Grand Finalist: The Lions

FOUR-TIME premiership coach Leigh Matthews has revealed he felt like “punching” AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou immediately after the 2004 Grand Final.

“We had a chance to do something unbelievably special and external forces intervened to make our task harder,” Matthews said. “Do I feel we were dudded by the schedule? Well, yes, I do.”

Furious at the AFL’s scheduling of the preliminary final at the MCG – not the Gabba – and on the Saturday night, Matthews refused to shake the hands of Demetriou and then AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson after the Grand Final.

Matthews said the fact the AFL renegotiated its deal with the MCC shortly after the 2004 Grand Final proved it had not done enough to make the change earlier.

Accept the Challenge” by Leigh Matthews