JASON Akermanis says Albury has destroyed the Ovens and Murray football league and should be embarrassed about it.
The North Albury coach, speaking to media after the Hoppers’ nine-point loss to Wangaratta Rovers in yesterday’s elimination final, was asked to give a tip for this year’s premiership as his interview finished up.
The former AFL champion didn’t hold back when giving his prediction.
“Albury, for mine,” he said.
“But the amount of money they spend on their talent is ridiculous.
“It’s a competition where we’re not fighting against Albury.
“We’re fighting against third and down, I reckon.
“I don’t know what they’ll do and I don’t know how the league will view those comments.
“But it’s pretty embarrassing what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.
“It’s destroyed what should be a great competition.”
Akermanis took the Hoppers from the bottom of the ladder to finals in his first year as coach.
Akermanis said the Tigers should be embarrassed if they didn’t win their fourth premiership in the space of five years this season.
“They should be incredibly disappointed, with everything they’ve got and bought and warehoused in the seconds and thirds, if they don’t,” he said.
“It’s just ridiculous. Good for them.
“I’m sure they pat themselves on the back and we’ve got to catch up to them, no doubt.
“But with what they’ve got and the years that they’ve done it, it would be embarrassing if they didn’t win it.”
The 2001 Brownlow medallist rejected any chance Yarrawonga had of going back to back.
“No, no they can’t,” Akermanis said.
“That’s just my view.
“Yarra is a great team and will have to play very hard and tough football and just hope things go their way.
“But if I was a betting man, I’d be putting it on Albury every day of the week.”
Albury president Gavan Schultz said later he was unaware of the comments and declined to respond.