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AFL NEWS: Buckley responds to new Heritier Lumumba allegations, Voss responds to viral Patrick Cripps incident

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9th May, 2022
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Former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has responded to another round of extraordinary allegations by Heritier Lumumba about his tenure at the club.

Sections of a dossier compiled by Lumumba detailing his time at the Magpies was published by the Herald Sun on Monday morning, accusing among others Buckley, former club CEO Gary Pert and an unnamed assistant coach of serious misconduct.

Among the allegations is that the assistant coach ‘showed a pornographic image during a team meeting to emphasis a point that he was making’, with Lumumba saying Buckley was ‘unfazed’ by the incident.

Another claimed Pert had made ‘inappropriate comments re: players’ sex lives in front of their partners’ during the 2011 season, for which Lumumba demanded an apology at the time; while Buckley is accused of branding Lumumba as ‘too sensitive’ and ‘demanding too much change from the club’.

According to the Herald Sun, Lumumba had planned to present the full dossier to the Magpies as part of the response to the ‘Do Better’ report. However, he has since cut all communications with the club over his belief the Magpies aren’t serious about enacting change.

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Responding to the allegations on SEN Breakfast, Buckley openly questioned Lumumba’s intentions in his ongoing feud with the club, saying his version of events in the incidents depicted in the dossier are very different to the former player’s.

“I’m not going to be drawn into detail and I’m not going to say that ‘Heritier’s right here, wrong here’ – because that is his perspective of the truth – but there are other versions of the truth that are a long way away from the way that he perceives it,” Buckley said.

“Mine is very different from what he presents. But the context becomes important, and the whole idea of the process is to have open dialogue [and] respectful dialogue, so that you can actually move forward in a positive way.

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“It seems that Heritier doesn’t really want to move forward unless there’s… whether heads need to roll.

“I don’t know exactly what he’s looking for … or what his requirements are to feel like he has been heard, because that’s what we’ve really tried to do is sit and listen.

“He has been apologised to – I’ve apologised to him, the club has apologised to him – for the environment that he’s been in – and not just Heritier, but the other Indigenous players that have come through.”

As for the allegations directed at him by Lumumba, Buckley says his ‘conscience is clear’.

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I put my head on the pillow last night and I slept well because I know that I have owned my imperfections and I’ve owned the things that I’m responsible for,” he said.

“I’m happy to have those conversations with anyone at any time – and I fundamentally believe I had those conversations with Heritier in the moment.

I was prepared to stop, to listen, to try and learn, to try and understand in the moment… my conscience is clear in that regard.

“It doesn’t mean I’ve been perfect, it doesn’t mean I couldn’t have done things better, but I’m open-minded to continue to learn, and I think the club is as well. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t feel as comfortable with that.”

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Heritier Lumumba of the Magpies

Heritier Lumumba. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

‘I’d be staggered’ if Cripps attracts MRO scrutiny for tackle, says Voss

Carlton coach Michael Voss says he would be ‘staggered’ if captain Patrick Cripps is cited for a heavy tackle on Adelaide’s Lachie Murphy, amid media reports Match Review Officer Michael Christian will examine the incident closely.

Murphy was substituted out of the game with a neck issue shortly after the tackle in the third quarter, during the Blues’ comprehensive 48-point win over the Crows on Sunday.

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Fan reaction to the incident has been firmly in Cripps’ favour, while speaking after the game, Voss staunchly defended his actions.

“You’re probably asking the wrong person… it would be slightly biased, but gee, I’d be staggered if it went any further, to be honest,” he said in his post-match press conference.

Murphy has a recent history of neck problems, having undergone surgery on a bulging disk in the off-season.

Should Cripps receive a suspension, it would rule him ineligible for the Brownlow Medal, for which he is one of the heavy favourites after a brilliant start to the year.

His 35-disposal, two-goal performance against the Crows has him in line for three votes, while he is expected to poll well in several other games in the Blues’ bright start to season 2022.

Patrick Cripps celebrates.

(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

‘Get his head out of you know where’: King’s massive whack for struggling Roo

Former North Melbourne great David King has challenged the current crop of Kangaroos to ‘take responsibility’ for turning the club’s fortunes around, after a dismal start to 2022.

The Roos sit 17th on the ladder with just one win from the first eight rounds, kicking just three goals in a 78-point thrashing at the hands of Fremantle on Friday night.

Speaking on Fox Footy’s First Crack, King put the spotlight on ‘frontline stars’ Luke Davies-Uniacke, Jy Simpkin, Todd Goldstein and Hugh Greenwood to improve, with the Roos having been one of the AFL’s worst-performing contested ball sides for the season.

“I don’t give the alibis to those guys who are getting smashed at stoppage,” King said.

“It’s really disappointing that those guys haven’t engaged… your leaders are in there. Simpkin won your best and fairest last year, Goldstein has been a top-liner.

“You’re either invested or you’re not. Greenwood – first year at the club, stand up and lead the way. Davies-Uniacke – where’s the improvement coming from him?

“I’m saying for this guy to take responsibility, don’t wait for the coach to do things for you.”

King was particularly savage on fourth-year emerging star Tarryn Thomas, whose season was interrupted by internal bruising after copping a kick to the ribs in the Roos’ only win of the year against West Coast in Round 2.

Since returning three weeks ago, Thomas has been well down on his game-breaking best, with King urging the 22-year old to stand up.

“Tarryn Thomas has been AWOL for most of the year, I don’t know where his head is at,” King said.

“They need him to find form, get his head out of you-know-where and start finding the footy.

“At the moment, they’re not fighting the fight. I get concerned when I see that, and I don’t know if there are deeper issues or not. But if you’re a player, front up.

“Those guys are too good and have played too much football.”

The only Roo to escape King’s ire was first-year player Jason Horne-Francis, whose first eight games were described as ‘brilliant’.

“The kid’s come in, Horne-Francis, and said ‘I just want to play’ – and he’s been brilliant. Seven clearances on the weekend,” he said.

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