Schwab backs Ayres

Wednesday, July 31

AFL Coaches' Association president Peter Schwab has backed Adelaide coach Gary Ayres over provocative gestures to fans, saying the league should clear supporters from areas around coaches' boxes.

The AFL is investigating Ayres over gestures he made to the crowd during and immediately after his side's three-point win over Geelong at Skilled Stadium at the weekend.

Ayres has received a ``please explain'' from the league and has until Friday to respond.

Ayres said he was heavily provoked by Cats fans and should be entitled to the right of reply to crowd abuse.

``Some of the provoking that goes on and continues to go on is hard to ignore, particularly when they're right next to the box and in the vicinity where they can bang on the glass and look up at you all day,'' Schwab said.

Schwab said AFL boss Wayne Jackson had sent him a letter about possible improvements to security for coaches at AAMI Stadium in Adelaide. He said Geelong's home ground fell into a similar category and should also be looked at.

But Geelong coach Mark Thompson says coach security at his club's ground is better than in the past.

``Some grounds are better than others but generally the security's improved and the protection's improved,'' Thompson said.

``Gee, I wouldn't be throwing stones because Adelaide's not a pleasant place either.''