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AFL News: Weitering learns fate for Greene incident, star Tiger's AA snub, finals week 1 locked in

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28th August, 2023
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Star defender Jacob Weitering is free to play in Carlton’s AFL elimination final against Sydney, avoiding suspension over his contact with GWS captain Toby Greene’s face.

But the news is not good for Greene’s teammate Toby Bedford, who will miss the Giants’ knockout clash with St Kilda after receiving a one-match ban for rough conduct against Blues speedster Zac Fisher.

Weitering came under scrutiny for making brief contact with his fingers near Greene’s eye during Sunday’s heated clash at Marvel Stadium.

Greene later fanned the flames, predicting Weitering might be in trouble with the match review officer.

On Monday, Weitering was charged with making “unreasonable or unnecessary contact” to Greene’s eye region and was handed a $3000 fine.

The penalty can be reduced to $2000 with an early guilty plea.

Crucially, Weitering’s action was graded as careless conduct, low impact and high contact.

Under the AFL’s table of offences, a grading of intentional conduct would have resulted in a one-match ban.

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It means he will line-up against Sydney when Carlton end a decade-long finals drought at the MCG next week.

Weitering attempted to pull Greene off Blues teammate Mitch McGovern when the pair tangled moments before half-time on Sunday.

The All-Australian defender appeared to move his hand away when he realised he had made contact with Greene’s face.

Greene has attracted scrutiny over similar incidents in the past and missed the Giants’ 2019 preliminary final win because of a one-match ban.

“He might be in trouble,” Greene told Fox Footy.

“I think I got in trouble for that, so we’ll see how he goes.

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“I was hoping for a free kick. That’s fine.”

Carlton coach Michael Voss was always confident Weitering would be free to play in the elimination final.

“I’m sort of comfortable with the commentary around it, so I’ll leave it at that,” Voss said post-match.

“(Weitering) is pretty important – I think that’s probably stating the real obvious. He’s had a fantastic year.”

Bedford caught Fisher high while attempting to shepherd for a teammate and was suspended for a second time this month, following his ban for a dangerous tackle on Sydney’s Ollie Florent in round 21.

(AAP)

Taranto snub headlines omissions from All-Australian squad of 44

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Richmond star Tim Taranto has headlined the omissions from the AFL’s All-Australian squad of 44, which was announced on Monday evening.

With the team to be named on Wednesday night as part of the AFL’s Awards night, which will also feature the Rising Star award, the former Giant’s first season in yellow and black saw him average nearly 29 disposals a game while kicking a career-best 19 goals, but wasn’t enough for a spot in the extended squad, with Dustin Martin the only Tiger named.

Taranto’s omission comes after All-Australian selector and controversial media pundit Kane Cornes caused a stir mid-season by claiming the midfielder ‘wouldn’t be in the top 150 players in the game right now’, citing his poor disposal as holding him and the Tigers back.

Taranto is far from the only contentious omission, with Carlton defender Nic Newman overlooked despite a crucial role in the Blues’ surge towards finals, while goal assists leader Gryan Miers can also consider himself unlucky.

Every single team received at least one nomination, with North Melbourne and West Coast spearheads Nick Larkey and Oscar Allen the only members of their teams selected; while ladder-leaders Collingwood lead the league with five – Josh and Nick Daicos, captain Darcy Moore, Jordan De Goey and Isaac Quaynor.

Fremantle ruck/forward Luke Jackson is among the more surprising inclusions as one of three rucks, though the top job will almost certainly be between St Kilda and Western Bulldogs big men Rowan Marshall and Tim English.

Tim Taranto in action during Richmond training.

Tim Taranto in action during Richmond training. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

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FULL ALL-AUSTRALIAN SQUAD OF 44

Adelaide: Jordan Dawson, Taylor Walker

Brisbane: Harris Andrews, Charlie Cameron, Joe Daniher, Lachie Neale

Carlton: Patrick Cripps, Charlie Curnow, Jacob Weitering

Collingwood: Josh Daicos, Nick Daicos, Jordan De Goey, Darcy Moore, Isaac Quaynor

Essendon: Kyle Langford, Zach Merrett, Mason Redman

Fremantle: Luke Jackson, Luke Ryan, Caleb Serong

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Geelong: Tom Stewart

Gold Coast: Noah Anderson

GWS: Stephen Coniglio, Tom Green, Toby Greene

Hawthorn: Luke Breust, Jai Newcombe, James Sicily

Melbourne: Christian Petracca, Jack Viney

North Melbourne: Nick Larkey

Port Adelaide: Zak Butters, Dan Houston, Connor Rozee

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Richmond: Dustin Martin

St Kilda: Rowan Marshall, Jack Sinclair, Callum Wilkie

Sydney: Nick Blakey, Errol Gulden

West Coast: Oscar Allen

Western Bulldogs: Marcus Bontempelli, Tim English, Tom Liberatore

Finals fixture in as Saints’ request denied

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The AFL has released the fixture for Week 1 of the 2023 finals series.

After a weekend’s break due to the league’s pre-finals bye, September will begin with Collingwood facing Melbourne in an MCG blockbuster on Thursday night at 7:20pm (AEST).

The loser of that clash will need to wait 24 hours to see who they will be facing in a cutthroat semi-final, with the dangerous Carlton playing host to Sydney on Friday night, also at the MCG.

In a change from previous seasons, in which the Saturday afternoon finals match began in a twilight timeslot, St Kilda will face GWS at 3:20pm. However, the Saints have had their request to play the final at their home ground of Marvel Stadium knocked back, with the clash to take place at the MCG as well.

Finishing off the round, second-placed Brisbane will face Port Adelaide at the Gabba for the right to a home preliminary final at 7:25pm (AEST), with the loser to face the winner of the Saints and Giants next week.

>>Head here for more Finals Week 1 information

FULL FINALS WEEK 1 FIXTURE (all times AEST)

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Thursday, September 7: First qualifying final, Collingwood vs Melbourne at the MCG, 7:20pm

Friday, September 8: First elimination final, Carlton vs Sydney at the MCG, 7:50pm

Saturday, September 9: Second elimination final, St Kilda vs GWS at the MCG, 3:20pm

Saturday, September 9: Second qualifying final, Brisbane vs Port Adelaide at the Gabba, 7:25pm

Clayton Oliver of the Demons and Darcy Cameron of the Magpies in action.

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

AFL officially appoints new football boss

Laura Kane’s rise to become the AFL’s most senior football official is being hailed as a significant moment for women in the sport.

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Kane, who had been the AFL’s interim football boss since Brad Scott left the role last year to coach Essendon, was officially unveiled after her full-time appointment to the role on Monday.

Her title as executive general manager of football means she will become one of the most senior deputies of incoming AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon.

Kane’s portfolio will cover crucial game-related issues such as umpiring, rules, the AFLW and the tribunal.

She will also oversee areas such as player movement, talent pathways, and mental health and wellbeing.

Kane, a qualified lawyer who represented victims in the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child abuse, had several senior roles at North Melbourne before she joined the AFL in September 2021 as its competition manager.

Hawthorn women’s coach Bec Goddard and Essendon counterpart Natalie Wood hailed Kane’s full-time appointment as a significant moment for women in the AFL.

“What you’re starting to see is it’s just a real legitimate option for people,” Wood said.

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“If you’re good at what you do, there’s opportunity for you on and off the football field.

“We’re starting to see more women in roles and really important roles. It just shows that it’s starting to become a real merit-based process and it doesn’t matter what your gender is.

“Laura’s such a great operator and she’s built such a terrific reputation with the work that she does.”

Dillon has been impressed by Kane’s leadership abilities.

“This AFL season has continued to throw up a diverse mix of challenges at our competition and Laura has led the football department team brilliantly in what has been a record year for our game,” Dillon said in a statement.

“Laura’s experience, expertise, temperament and resilience, paired with building a team of additional key football talent, is the right mix to lead the Football Department.”

Former Essendon football boss Josh Mahoney has joined Kane at league headquarters as the new general manager of football operations.

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Mahoney, a premiership player at Port Adelaide in 2004, joined the Bombers at the end of 2020 but quit as the club’s football boss earlier this month.

As part of his new role at the AFL, Mahoney will report to Kane on issues relating to the AFL, AFLW, VFL and VFLW.

The AFL are also looking to appoint a new GM of football performance, who will also report to Kane.

(AAP)

Luckless Dee’s worst fears realised in dreaded ACL blow

Luckless Melbourne forward Jake Melksham will miss another opportunity to win an AFL flag after scans confirmed he has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

The Demons were dealt a double dose of “devastating” news on Monday when it was confirmed Melksham and Luke Dunstan had suffered ACL tears.

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Melksham, who has kicked 16 goals since being recalled in round 16, ruptured his ACL while trying to change direction during the third quarter of Melbourne’s 21-point win over Sydney on Sunday.

The timing of the blow is particularly cruel for Melksham, who missed out on the Demons’ 2021 flag.

Melksham turns 32 on Tuesday, and it remains to be seen if he’ll earn a new deal at Melbourne on the back of the long-term knee injury.

Dunstan, who hasn’t featured for the Demons at senior level this season, suffered his ACL tear while playing in the VFL over the weekend.

Melbourne finished fourth on the ladder and will face minor premiers Collingwood in a qualifying final on Thursday, September 7 at the MCG.

“Unfortunately, scans confirmed the worst for Jake and Luke this afternoon,” Melbourne’s general manager of AFL Performance Alan Richardson said in a statement.

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“It is incredibly disappointing news for both players, particularly on the eve of an AFL and VFL Finals Series. It really is a cruel part of our game.

“Jake and Luke have played very important roles for us in recent weeks and have done so with class and character. 

“It is devastating to lose them at this point, but I have no doubt they will apply the same attitude and commitment to their respective rehabs.

“Both players mean a lot to our football club, and we will be doing everything we can to support them through this difficult time.”

(AAP)

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