Western Bulldogs star Bailey Smith has been handed a two-match suspension by the AFL Integrity Unit.
After footage emerged of the 21-year old with an illicit substance during the off-season, the league has found Smith guilty of conduct unbecoming.
The ban is in addition to his current two-match suspension for headbutting, and means he won’t be available to play until Round 18.
The Integrity Unit found that Smith had breached AFL Rule 2.3(a), which bars players from “conduct which is unbecoming or likely to prejudice the interests or reputation of the AFL or to bring the game of football into disrepute”.
Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains said the club will continue supporting Smith through his recovery in a statement, praising the star midfielder for showing ‘clear contrition and remorse’.
“As we have stated, we do not condone the behaviour in question and remain very disappointed it occurred,” Bains said.
“We are pleased however that Bailey has assumed unqualified responsibility for the mistake he has made and is intent on learning from it.
“We will continue to strongly support Bailey through this difficult period. Our primary responsibility to him and all of our players is to ensure that their health and wellbeing is safeguarded.”
Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has unveiled a radical plan for a joint ‘super team’ between a Victorian club and Tasmania – despite the Tasmanian public and government making it clear that only their own license will be satisfactory.
McGuire, in his hosting role on Nine’s Footy Classified, put forward a proposal that would see a Victorian team, most likely North Melbourne, split their games between Marvel Stadium and the Apple Isle, as one of a host of incentives to help the new franchise grow.
“Take this on board as a proposal to think about and see if this is better for the long-term future of North Melbourne and a Tasmanian combination – instead of having two weak clubs, it becomes a super club,” McGuire said.
McGuire’s plan has the joint North Melbourne-Tasmania team play 11 games in Tassie and 11 in Melbourne, with three years’ worth of draft concessions and a $20 million soft cap, to help entice Alastair Clarkson as senior coach.
The new team would still be called the Kangaroos, and would come with a host of other sweeteners for Tasmania, including free access to streaming services, prime-time TV slots and a host of blockbuster games against powerhouse rivals.
McGuire also warned that his solution would prevent North Melbourne from losing a large chunk of their revenue generated through a current deal to play games in Hobart, which the Tasmania government will put a stop to once their contract expires.
However, fellow host Caroline Wilson was quick to point out a key issue with McGuire’s plan – that not a single Tasmanian has any desire to see a relocated club be foisted upon them.
“The [Tasmanian] government is adamant, they’ve put forward a $150 million offer – they will not fund a relocated team,” Wilson said.
“Where is this team based? It’s still based in Melbourne, it’s still based at Arden Street.
“Tasmania want their own team, they won’t accept this.”
The Western Bulldogs have received a major boost, with half-back pair Bailey Dale and Caleb Daniel both signing long-term deals to remain at the Whitten Oval.
All Australians in 2021 and 2020 respectively, Dale has inked a five-year extension that will tie him to the club until at least 2027, while Daniel’s new deal is over four years.
“I am really excited to keep playing for this amazing club for the next five seasons,” Dale said in a statement on the club website.
“I am grateful for the opportunity the club has given me and was always keen to commit long-term at Whitten Oval.
“The direction the club is heading is exciting and I’m keen to be a part of that, particularly playing and working alongside a great group of players and staff.
“I’m pleased that the contract is finalised and can now turn my focus to continuing to help us build on-field for the remainder of the season.”
The twin signings are a major coup for the Bulldogs, who are set to retain a large crop of key players whose contracts were set to expire at the end of this season.
Star ruckman Tim English remains without a deal, but is reportedly set to turn back interest from Western Australia and re-commit soon; while midfield pair Bailey Smith and Josh Dunkley are the next cabs off the rank.
Former great Kane Cornes has slammed Collingwood star Jordan De Goey, after the controversial Magpie was revealed to have spent his mid-season break in Bali.
With the Pies having their bye this weekend, the players have taken some well-earned time off after a stunning four-match winning streak, including beating Melbourne, Fremantle and Carlton.
But given De Goey’s troubled history, including an off-season incident in New York that saw him face assault and harassment charges, Cornes argued on SEN’s Whateley that a trip to Bali was ‘one of the more bizarre decisions that I’ve seen’.
“How could you think going to Bali in the mid-season break when you’re Jordan De Goey was a good idea?” Cornes said on Thursday morning.
“Come for me as hard as you want on this opinion. It is a stupid thing for Jordan De Goey to do to go to Bali at this stage of his career, and at this stage of the season.
“He may just be sitting by the pool in Bali like he would be doing on the Gold Coast, but I would think that in the past he has been sucked into temptation, and I would think it is easier to be sucked into temptation in Bali than it is somewhere in Victoria or Queensland.
“I just think it’s one of the more bizarre decisions that I’ve seen. To think that Collingwood would allow him to do that and people would say ‘hang on, he’s a grown man and he can do what he wants, it’s his four days off’.
“In the middle of the year? These players get 12 weeks off plus mandatory four-day breaks, I would think if you’re going to do that, that would be a time to do it at the end of the year.
“Collingwood fans, anyone, come at me as hard as you want, it is a dumb thing for De Goey to do to go to Bali in the middle of the year.”
Cornes said the Magpies’ leadership group should have nipped De Goey’s plans in the bud, arguing that the 26-year old can’t be trusted.
“De Goey has asked if it’s OK whether he can go to Bali, which he should have done, Jason Horne-Francis has got to ask if he can go to Adelaide, so De Goey should be asking if he’s going to go overseas mid-year and I think you would debate that at the leadership group.
“No one player is the same as others. If it was Scott Pendlebury wanting to take his family to Bali and he’s got a blemish-free record, no worries Scott, we can trust you.
“If it’s Jordan De Goey or another player that has a history in the past, you’d think ‘I don’t know if this is the best spot for him to be for four days’.
“I’m sure he will behave himself, but the fact that he has been lured into temptation in the past, I think it’s a dumb decision to make.”