One of the most bizarre careers of recent times could yet have another twist in store, with former GWS Giants ruckman Shane Mumford surprisingly nominating for the upcoming AFL draft.
GWS have still not been given a firm timeline for the AFL’s appeal against the length of Toby Greene’s suspension for intentional umpire contact, but expect it to be heard in early October.
Greene, who finished ten votes behind winner Josh Kelly at the club’s best-and-fairest count on Thursday night, is still unsure when he will be free to play in 2022.
The star forward was banned for three matches by the AFL tribunal in late August after brushing shoulders with experienced whistle-blower Matt Stevic during the Giants’ elimination-final win over Sydney.
It brought an early end to Greene’s 2021 season and was a hammer blow to the Giants’ flag hopes, however, the AFL declared the sanction “manifestly inadequate”.
At the time, league boss Gillon McLachlan said he found the length of the suspension “personally hard to reconcile” with the fact a jury of former players declared Greene guilty of an “aggressive, demonstrative and disrespectful” interaction with Stevic.
The league’s appeal was delayed until the end of the season at the Giants’ request as they focused on their finals campaign, which ended in a semi-final defeat to Geelong.
“We went through that process at the time and it was definitely the right thing to do to push it out beyond the end of the season,” GWS football boss Jason McCartney told Trade Radio on Thursday.
“We would’ve loved to have won that semi-final against Geelong and progressed a bit further.
“Toby had an outstanding year and we’re disappointed he found himself in that situation but we moved on and that will run its course over the next week or two.”
Greene and Stevic both gave evidence at the initial tribunal hearing in August and the Giants do not expect the two key figures will have to do so again.
“It’s really more a legal setting with our counsel and the AFL counsel, and they go through the legalities of the appeal,” McCartney said.
“Toby won’t be required to give any evidence or anything like that.”
Greene’s ban proved decisive at the club’s awards night, when he finished second on the leaderboard as Kelly secured the second Kevin Sheedy medal of his career.
“Josh came into this season wanting to take his game to another level … he should be very proud of his season,” coach Leon Cameron said.
Greene was one of multiple players who stood in for injured captain Stephen Coniglio throughout this year and has been touted as a future full-time GWS skipper.
McCartney said the Giants are “comfortable” with their leadership group as it stands but will go through the usual process of selecting a captain and his deputies over summer.
Coniglio managed just seven games in 2021 as he battled a syndesmosis injury and subsequent foot issues.
The 27-year-old will require a strong pre-season preparation to return to his best next year.