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Jordan De Goey’s lawyers seek interview woman did with AFL


An interview the AFL conducted with the woman who alleges she was indecently assaulted by Collingwood star Jordan De Goey is set to be made available to the footballer’s lawyers as he prepares to contest his criminal charge.

Mr De Goey was charged last year over an incident that allegedly happened after he, another man and a woman left a hotel in Kew in 2015, when the forward was 19 and in his first year with the Magpies.

Jordan De Goey, right, at Collingwood's pre-season training last week.

Jordan De Goey, right, at Collingwood’s pre-season training last week. Credit:Getty Images

Mr De Goey, now 24, appears set to fight the one charge of indecent assault and is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on February 4 for a contest mention, when a date for a contested hearing will likely be set.

He did not appear before court on Monday when his lawyer, Tony Hargreaves, requested material including a video recording of an interview the AFL’s head of integrity, Tony Keane, did with the woman.



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Australian News

Study finds AFL players with concussion likely returning to play with damaged brain cells


A five-year study has found AFL players are likely returning to play from concussion with high levels of damaged brain cells, putting them at risk of long-term harm, even though they might feel fine.

The Monash University study of concussed Aussie Rules players found on average they showed no ill symptoms after a week.

However, analysis of their blood showed their brains had released elevated levels of the protein Neurofilament light (NfL), which is evidence of damaged brain cells.

Even more worrying was that the levels of NfL had doubled a week after the concussion and tripled after two weeks, all while players’ symptoms had subsided.

Study author Stuart McDonald warned players were at risk when they played again in that state.

A Magpies player and a West Coast Eagles player during an AFL match.
Jack Frost continues to suffer ongoing effects from the concussions he received while playing in the AFL.(AAP: David Crosling)

Former Collingwood and Brisbane player Jack Frost suffered 14 concussions in his AFL career and is painfully aware of the impacts, he suffers from memory loss and has forgotten key moments in his life.

“My partner asked me a while ago, ‘Can you remember our first date?’ and I just couldn’t recollect it,” Frost said.

The 28-year-old is sensitive to noise, finds cafes problematic, has mood swings and can’t handle any physical activity more strenuous than a light walk.

“I struggle to go to sleep, stay asleep, I wake up all the time so therefore in the mornings I wake up and feel super lethargic.”

A group of young mean on a football team wearing black and purple uniforms.
Between 100 and 200 Melbourne University Blacks footballers took part in the concussion study each year.(Supplied: Tony Evans)

Frost welcomed the findings of the study and said he wished he had access to the information during his 56-game career.

“It doesn’t surprise me one bit and I’ve sort of always thought it doesn’t matter how bad your head knock is, you should at least give four weeks rest because it’s just not worth it in the end,” he said.

New test could aid safer return to play

The Monash study, published in the journal Biomarker Research, carried out baseline blood testing on between 100 and 200 Melbourne University Blacks players in pre-season each year from 2017 to 2019.

The researchers then followed up with further blood tests and MRI scans for the 28 that suffered a concussion.

It found on average NfL levels were double the player’s baseline figures after one week. After a fortnight, they had increased three-fold. Players were not tested after that time.

Dr McDonald said Monash research into other sports showed elevated levels of NfL are still prevalent one month after a concussion.

“Repeated concussions can have cumulative effects and these can result in worsened and potentially long term outcomes for players who sustain repeated concussions.”

A man in a laboratory wearing blue medical scrubs.
Monash University researcher Dr Stuart McDonald says concussed players could be tested for the NfL protein.(Supplied)

In the AFL, players who have suffered a concussion generally return to play one to two weeks after the incident.

The presence of NfL has raised concerns players are returning to play too quickly, but researchers also believe it can provide a breakthrough.

“This protein in the blood (NfL) may be able to actually indicate when the brain has recovered and therefore may be used as an objective tool to guide when it is safe to return to play.”

‘I think that it needs to be taken out of even the AFL’s hands’

Three images of a brain scanned by an MRI.
Advanced brain imaging of the concussed players supported the findings that came from their blood tests.(Supplied.)

After spending six years in the AFL system, Jack Frost believes decisions about whether a player is fit to return to play after a concussion shouldn’t rest with the player, the club or even the AFL.

“I think that it needs to be taken out of even the AFL’s hands. It needs to be passed on to some sort of governing body that has specialists and can treat everyone with the same tests, make them run through the same tests and make sure that they actually are OK,” he said.

“If you do that it gets rid of so much grey area from the club’s perspective, from a player’s perspective, from peer pressure, from family pressure and there’s no excuses then and there’s no hiding from it, there’s no fluffing of results.

“I think the measures that are in place to treat and manage concussion [in the AFL] aren’t where they need to be.

“They need to treat it as someone’s life, not just another injury.”



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Arrest warrant issued for former Western Bulldogs AFL doctor


A former Western Bulldogs doctor accused of writing dodgy prescriptions is now a wanted man after he failed to appear in court.

Richard Vucinic has been hit with 101 charges in relation to writing dodgy prescriptions for painkillers and was due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.

But despite the serious accusations Dr Vucinic failed to show up to court.

“It’s not just the seriousness of failing to appear but I’m not confident they’re going to be successful in contacting him and they’re very serious offences,” magistrate Stella Stuthridge said.

She issued the arrest warrant against Dr Vucinic because he did not show up, there was no listed address for him and his phone number wasn’t working.

Ms Stuthridge said she had “no confidence” he would appear if the matter was adjourned.

“He’s had lots of court appearances before, he’s an articulated and educated man,” she said of the former sports doctor.

He was sacked by the Western Bulldogs in 2014 and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has listed his registration as “cancelled and/or prohibited”.

Some of the allegations against him include he prescribed strong painkillers including endone, morphine and oxycodone.

More to come.



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Richmond AFL player Sydney Stack to spend Christmas in custody


Richmond AFL player Sydney Stack is set to spend Christmas alone behind bars as a result of his alleged breach of Western Australia’s strict quarantine laws.

Stack, who was arrested on Saturday and refused bail, is in isolation at Hakea Prison.

His case briefly returned to the Perth Magistrates Court on Monday and was heard in his absence, with his lawyer saying she had been unable to speak to the 20-year-old and therefore could not progress the matter any further.

His case was adjourned to January 6 for a further mention by videolink.

The court earlier heard that prisoners at Hakea who are alleged to have breached quarantine are required to serve a fresh 14 days isolation upon entering the remand facility.

Player manager Paul Peos said Stack, who is mourning the recent death of his grandfather, was “very distressed and very upset” during a brief phone conversation.

“I’m very worried about his short-term welfare,” Peos told reporters outside court.

“It’s been very difficult to have communications. I’ve been very disappointed. But we’ll continue to try and engage with him as best we can.”

Two AFL teammates celebrate a goal.
Sydney Stack (left) has played 26 matches for the Tigers in the AFL.(AAP: Julian Smith)

Stack was charged with failing to comply with a direction after allegedly being found out on the town in Northbridge during his compulsory self-isolation period, having entered WA from Victoria on a flight that stopped over in South Australia.

WA’s border with SA remains closed after a recent coronavirus scare.

Stack was granted approval to enter WA on compassionate grounds on December 10 for his grandfather’s funeral.

He was issued with a direction to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days at a nominated address in Northam, about 97km from Perth.

But he was allegedly found by police at 1.10am on Saturday in the party district of Northbridge.

It was also alleged he had been staying at a residence in Belmont and not at his nominated quarantine address.

The alleged breach caps off a torrid year for Stack, who was overlooked in the 2018 national draft because of concerns about off-field issues but has since played 26 AFL games for Richmond.

He was handed a 10-match AFL ban and banished from Queensland in September for an incident outside of a Gold Coast strip club.

Stack and Tigers teammate Callum Coleman-Jones broke the AFL’s return-to-play protocols during that night out, which ended up with them being involved in a fight at about 3.30am. Richmond were subsequently fined $100,000.

Peos said he was in constant communication with Richmond, adding that Stack understood the consequences of his actions and accepted his career was on the line.

“The football’s a little bit further ahead,” he said.

“We’ve got to deal with the current matters from now up until January 6.”

A spokesperson for WA’s Department of Justice said prisoners at Hakea did not have their quarantine periods reset unless they returned a positive COVID-19 test or were subject to an emergency order imposed by WA Police.

“Prisoners subject to quarantine are isolated in their cells, where they can receive meals, medical and other services, provided with the appropriate protections in place,” he said.

“They cannot receive social visits but can make telephone calls and are allowed out of their cells to exercise on their own for up to two hours a day.

“Quarantined prisoners can make video-link court appearances, done in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.”

AAP



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Richmond AFL player Sydney Stack arrested in Perth for allegedly breaking COVID-19 rules



Richmond AFL utility Sydney Stack has been arrested and refused bail after allegedly breaching Western Australia’s strict COVID-19 laws.

Stack was granted approval to enter WA via South Australia on compassionate grounds on December 10.

He was flying from Melbourne to Perth, via South Australia, for his grandfather’s funeral.

WA’s border with South Australia is still closed after a recent coronavirus scare.

After arriving in WA, Stack was issued with a direction to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days at a nominated address in Northam, about 97km east-north-east of Perth.

But he was allegedly found by police at 1.10am on Saturday in the Perth party district of Northbridge.

It was also identified he had been staying at a residence in Belmont and not at his nominated quarantine address in Northam.

The 20-year-old, who has played 26 games for Richmond, was charged with failing to comply with a direction.

He appeared in court on Sunday and was refused bail.

He will next appear in court on Monday, December 21.

The alleged breach caps off a torrid year for Stack, who was handed a 10-match AFL ban and banished from Queensland in September for an incident outside a Gold Coast strip club.

Stack and Tigers teammate Callum Coleman-Jones broke the AFL’s return-to-play protocols during that night out, which ended up with them being involved in a fight at about 3.30am.

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Richmond were fined $100,000 over the incident.

Stack issued an apology on Instagram after that incident.

“I’m very sorry, understand the seriousness of it and can do nothing now but own the consequences,” Stack wrote.

“I’ve let down the AFL, the club I love, my teammates, coaches and staff, its members and the Tiger army.

“I also have let down my family, my friends and all of those who have helped me along the way.

“To those who are supporting me at the moment, a huge thanks. I only hope going forward I can rebuild trust in me again.”

AAP



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Adam Treloar set to debut for Western Bulldogs against Collingwood in round one of 2021 AFL season


Adam Treloar is expected to make his Western Bulldogs debut against his former club, Collingwood, in the opening round of the 2021 AFL season.

Treloar endured a messy exit from the Magpies when he was offloaded to the Bulldogs on the final day of the AFL’s trade period in early November.

The 27-year-old claimed Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley told him senior Magpies players no longer wanted him at the club.

Collingwood is reportedly set to pay $1.5 million of Treloar’s Bulldogs contract over the next five seasons.

The Magpies will host the Bulldogs in a Friday-night clash at the MCG on March 19, 24 hours after the season kicks off at the same venue with defending premiers Richmond facing Carlton.

Treloar may be joined by number one draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan in debuting for the Bulldogs in round one.

A young AFL prospect handballs the ball to himself as he stares at the camera.
Top draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan could make his AFL debut for the Bulldogs against the Magpies.(AAP: James Ross)

The MCG, starved of matches for much of the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, will also stage the third match of round one on Saturday, March 20, with Melbourne playing Fremantle.

It is expected crowds will be allowed to return to the MCG and Melbourne’s Docklands stadium in round one.

Beaten grand finalist Geelong is set to unveil its bevy of recruits, including former Giants forward Jeremy Cameron, in Adelaide against the Crows on the Saturday night.

Essendon will then face fierce rival Hawthorn at Docklands the same evening, while former Bomber Joe Daniher could make his Brisbane debut against Sydney at the Gabba.

David Noble faces a tough start to life as the new North Melbourne coach, with the Kangaroos hosting preliminary finalist Port Adelaide at Docklands on the first Sunday of the AFL season.

Later that day, Greater Wester Sydney will play St Kilda at Giants Stadium, before West Coast and Gold Coast round out the weekend with their clash at Perth.

The AFL announced earlier this month matches will revert back to the normal quarter lengths of 20 minutes plus time on next season, but the fixture will still have a floating element in 2021.

ABC/AAP



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Eddie McGuire picked the right time to exit as Collingwood AFL president after many highs and lows


At one of Eddie McGuire’s early annual general meetings as Collingwood president the executive was being grilled about the club’s performance by impatient fans and a well-known shareholder advocate.

Sensing the growing dissent, McGuire seized the microphone and reminded the assembled throng that there was free beer at the end of the meeting before launching into a passionate version of the club song, Good Old Collingwood Forever.

As always, McGuire knew his audience. Despite the queue of members still waiting to ask questions the lights went up and everyone headed to the bar.

McGuire this week announced he will leave the Collingwood presidency at the end of next season after 23 years. As with any official who stays so long — perhaps even too long — there will be mixed reviews.

The controversial statements that overshadowed the latter part of McGuire’s presidency, including his — at best — highly insensitive comments about Adam Goodes, will inevitably dominate some views of his incumbency; so too will the mere fact he came to embody the despised Collingwood Football Club.

McGuire apologises for Goodes gaffe
McGuire fronted the media in 2013 to apologise for his comments about Adam Goodes.(AAP: David Crosling)

Among McGuire’s still large band of followers, unquestioned will be the empathy the self-described boy from Broadie (the working-class Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows) had with the hopes and aspirations of Collingwood’s passionate, demanding and fiercely tribal supporters.

The AFL’s ‘Era of Eddie’ spans three distinct phases, beginning when McGuire was an eager young match-day statistician for the Melbourne Herald newspaper and then a bright-eyed sports reporter on Channel Ten.

In the late 1980s, television sports reporting was generally a matter of a desk-bound personality stealing snippets from the newspapers or the international TV feed and reading a perfunctory report from an autocue.

McGuire was one of the first to break news on air, with his close relationships with the star players of the day causing something of a shift in the established order, before the internet disrupted the news cycle completely.

It was McGuire’s news sense — with his trademark “Big week in football!” — as much as the dubious comedic stylings of John “Sam” Newman that made Nine’s The Footy Show compulsory viewing in the AFL heartland and gave McGuire considerable notoriety.

It says something of McGuire’s rising stardom that when the thumping hangover that followed Collingwood’s drought-breaking 1990 premiership prompted a descent into financial ruin, he was able to use his name to challenge the incumbents, including some fabled club legends.

This process required some ruthlessness as McGuire and his running mates forced the board aside; the first public hint the enthusiastic TV personality had the stomach for a back-room fight.

McGuire’s innate sense of the untapped commercial potential of the Collingwood throng allowed him to monetise a struggling club with top-end-of-town figures seconded to the board and a dramatic growth in membership and sponsorship revenue leading to a long period of financial prosperity.

McGuire’s great legacy will come from the period between 1998 and 2010 when Collingwood was transformed from suburban dinosaur living on past glories to prosperous AFL premier for whom the self-description “Australia’s biggest sports club” was not entirely farfetched.

Nick Maxwell holds trophy aloft
The Magpies snapped a 20-year premiership drought in 2010 under McGuire’s watch.(AAP: David Crosling)

Upon his appointment, McGuire’s own metric of success was for “Collingwood to be hated again”. By the time captain Nick Maxwell lifted the 2010 premiership cup it is safe to say any pity had long been replaced with more typical disdain for “bloody Collingwood”.

Inevitably, McGuire, who as “Eddie Everywhere” retained a vast media presence, would take much of that hatred on his prominent chin with the perception his influence had grown in proportion to the club’s finances.

Certainly the Magpies’ mostly home-town fixture and other perceived benefits fuelled the feeling McGuire had gained an undue advantage for his club, while his robust statements about the operations of other clubs and the game itself made “with my media hat on” riled opposition supporters.

Although it is instructive that while McGuire is often blamed for campaigning against Sydney’s cost of living allowance, it was not until the Swans recruited Buddy Franklin from under the nose of the AFL-owned Giants — riling then-AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick — that the concession was removed.

Question marks over leadership

It is the next stage of McGuire’s presidency that is most vexed, beginning with the succession plan to replace Mick Malthouse as coach with favourite son Nathan Buckley, which was hatched in 2008.

Did the pending succession force Malthouse to discard favourite players and absorb the advice of talented assistant coaches, setting the scene for a rare premiership?

Or did Malthouse’s messy departure cost the Magpies further glory in 2011 and successive seasons?

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse (l) and former captain Nathan Buckley
The coaching handover between Mick Malthouse (left) and Nathan Buckley (right) did not go smoothly.(Julian Smith: AAP)

Either way, Buckley’s early struggles as coach combined with McGuire’s continued stridency in the media — including the Goodes remarks — brought into question the club’s leadership for the first time since his ascension.

Where McGuire’s media presence had once been an asset, not least in providing commercial opportunities for his players, it has in recent times become a source of potential distraction within the club.

When McGuire this year called for hefty sanctions for those who broke the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols, it was short odds it would be his own club star Steele Sidebottom, as well as coach Buckley and assistant Brenton Sanderson, who would be among the first busted.

Although, most symbolic of the problem Collingwood faced due to McGuire’s long reign was the still-to-be released review of its treatment of former player Héritier Lumumba, who has accused the club of harbouring racism.

How could Collingwood move forward meaningfully on this issue when the same leadership embroiled in the controversy — both in its internal response to Lumumba’s complaints and in the Goodes controversy — was still running the show and even commissioning the review?

Typically, rather than any cultural issue, it was the club’s performance in the recent trade week — when a series of historic contract bungles led to a dramatic fire sale — that caused the jungle drums to start beating, with the disgruntlement felt all the way up to board level.

In some minds, the time had come when McGuire did not so much reflect Collingwood as Collingwood had come to reflect McGuire. The individual who had so intuitively embodied the club was casting a shadow over it.

This was not, as far as we know, the motivation for McGuire’s planned departure, nor does it diminish his achievements. But it was clearly the right time to announce the end of what has been by most measures an enormously successful presidency.



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AFL accused of a ‘lack of cultural awareness’ towards Indigenous players after bungled vaccine program



Hawthorn premiership player Shaun Burgoyne says the AFL showed a lack of understanding about the issues faced by Indigenous players following the league’s poor handling of vaccinations during the 2020 season.

The AFL has vowed to take responsibility for all future issues relating to vaccines after Indigenous players were left hurt and distressed when the 2020 season resumed in June after the COVID-19 postponement.

The league first apologised to Indigenous players and club staff in July after they were told they would need to get pneumococcal vaccinations ahead of their entry into Queensland.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan delivered a second formal apology on Tuesday after a review into the required vaccination protocol.

Burgoyne, who is the AFL Players’ Association (AFLPA) Indigenous Advisory Board chair, has accepted the findings of the review but pleaded for the AFL to do better.

“It was of utmost importance to the players that their concerns around this serious issue were heard and addressed, not just for players and their families, but for our Indigenous community more broadly,” Burgoyne said in an AFLPA statement.

“The handling of this situation demonstrated a lack of cultural awareness and safety by the AFL, and the players and their families were impacted as a result.

“It was done without appropriate thought, and, without appropriate consultation with our representatives, we were left without a voice.

“By ensuring that Indigenous players are central to the decisions that impact them, we are confident that we have paved a more positive future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our great game.”

The AFL initially said all players had been required to receive a flu vaccination ahead of entering Queensland for the season restart.

But AFLPA chief executive Paul Marsh at the time hit out at that suggestion, saying there had not been enough information provided around the vaccine requirements.

The AFL said it should have investigated the request from the Queensland Government — and whether it had any medical basis — before detailing it to Indigenous players.

On Tuesday, Marsh added the AFL had a chance to right some wrongs from the past in making the competition a more welcoming place for Indigenous players.

“It was completely unacceptable for our Indigenous players to be discriminated against by requiring only them to be vaccinated, and this has had a deep impact on many of our Indigenous players and their families,” he said.

“I’d encourage all of us in the industry to reflect on how we can educate ourselves and get better from this experience.”

McLachlan thanked all those involved in the review, particularly the AFLPA’s Indigenous Advisory Board.

“The work has helped us identify the issue and put in place a number of initiatives to safeguard future decisions,” he said.

AAP/ABC



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Eddie McGuire to stand down as Collingwood president at the end of 2021 AFL season


Eddie McGuire has announced he will step down as Collingwood Football Club president at the end of the 2021 season.

McGuire announced his intention to move aside next year at a Magpies fan forum this evening.

He was emotional when revealing the decision to the club’s members.

“I’ve given everything I have to this position,” McGuire told the forum.

“Now it is time for me to set the platform for the club going forward.

“In conjunction with the change in direction of my media life and the timing of my son’s schooling ending, the time was right and the future is strong for our club for me to make this call.”

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McGuire, a lifelong Magpies supporter, became president in late 1998.

Under his 22-year watch, the Magpies won the 2010 AFL premiership following a grand final replay against St Kilda, their first flag in 20 years.

They lost in grand finals in 2002, 2003, 2011 and 2018.

McGuire helped turn Collingwood into a financial powerhouse in the AFL and he was responsible for luring Mick Malthouse from West Coast to coach the club ahead of the 2000 season.

Nathan Buckley and Eddie McGuire at a Collingwood media conference.
McGuire (right) and Nathan Buckley have worked closely together as president and coach.(AAP: Julian Smith)

Malthouse coached the Magpies to their 2010 flag, before a controversial coaching succession plan, orchestrated by McGuire, saw Nathan Buckley take over as coach in 2012.

McGuire’s time as Magpies president, however, has not been without controversy.

In 2013 the veteran media personality apologised for an on-air radio gaffe in which he suggested Sydney Swans Indigenous star Adam Goodes should be used to promote the musical King Kong.

His comments came only days after Goodes was racially abused by a Collingwood supporter at a match at the MCG.

McGuire apologises for Goodes gaffe
McGuire fronted the media in 2013 to apologise for his comments about Adam Goodes.(AAP: David Crosling)

There were calls for McGuire to resign as Magpies president at the time but he refused to stand down.

Three years later he issued another public apology for making a joke about drowning prominent AFL journalist Caroline Wilson.

His decision to step away from the presidency at the end of next season comes in the wake of the criticism the Magpies received following the recent AFL trade period.

Adam Treloar was among the Magpies players traded to rival clubs, ending up at the Western Bulldogs.

Collingwood is reportedly set to pay $1.5 million of Treloar’s Bulldogs contract over the next five seasons.

McGuire, 56, has faced little competition for the position of Magpies president during his tenure. He was re-elected unopposed for a three-year term last February.



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AFL player Tyson Stengle stood down by Adelaide Crows over third incident this year



Adelaide Crows player Tyson Stengle has been stood down, effective immediately, over what the club is describing as an “off-field matter”.

In a statement this morning, the club said it was “aware of an off-field matter” involving Stengle who has been “stood down from all club duties effective immediately as the club ascertains all relevant details on the situation”.

It is the third off-field incident this year involving Stengle who, in October, pleaded guilty to drink driving, just weeks after he was caught in possession of an illicit substance.

The statement said the club was working with the AFL, the AFL Players Association and Stengle’s management in relation to the matter.

“More information will be provided as soon as possible.”

Stengle returned a blood-alcohol reading of 0.125 in April when he was pulled over by police at Morphettville in Adelaide’s south-west.

The Adelaide Football Club fined Stengle $2,500 and suspended him for four matches following the incident.

After pleading guilty, Stengle expressed remorse for his actions.

“I [want] to learn from my mistakes … so I can make better decisions.”

Yesterday morning, police fined another young Crow, Josh Worrell, for drink-driving and using his mobile phone while at the wheel.

According to the club, Worrell holds a probationary licence and recorded a blood-alcohol reading of 0.056.

“[He] will be issued with an expiation notice for using his mobile phone while driving, as well as having a low level … concentration of alcohol in his blood,” the club said.

Crows Head of Football Adam Kelly said that while it was a police matter, the club would consider enforcing an additional sanction.

“Josh is disappointed and rightfully so as this behaviour is clearly a breach of our standards and those of the community,” Kelly said.



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