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AFL News: Simpson hits back at rivals' odd 'business class' plane claim, suburban footy team stood down in sexism furore

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16th May, 2024
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West Coast coach Adam Simpson has rubbish a bizarre claim that the Eagles and Fremantle are at ‘no disadvantage’ by having to regularly travel long distances to play matches due to being able to fly ‘business class’.

Fox Footy’s Midweek Tackle reported that several club figures, who remained anonymous, have complained about the two Western Australian clubs’ access to premium seats during interstate flights.

“Under the competitive balance review being put forward, there is a strong argument from some clubs saying they cannot have a whinge about the travel burden because they get to sit up the front of the plane,” News Corp journalist Sam Landsberger reported.

“The other 16 clubs, they try and secure exit-row seating, they try and put two players in every three chairs to get a bit of extra space. They don’t believe that WA clubs are disadvantaged.”

Speaking on 6PR on Thursday, Simpson, who played 306 games for North Melbourne and served as an assistant coach at Hawthorn before being named Eagles coach in late 2013, rubbished the bizarre argument.

“I played 15 years in Melbourne, coached four years in Melbourne and coached 11 years here,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure the business class seats don’t cover the balance of it all.”

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Travel distance has long been a point of contention for non-Victorian clubs around the AFL, with the Eagles and Dockers combined needing interstate flights 22 times for the 2024 season, compared to a mere six for Collingwood.

The AFL allows the Eagles and Dockers 12 business class seats for every trip to the eastern states, but some flights the teams use have as few as eight such seats available.

Adam Simpson chats with Jayden Hunt.

Adam Simpson. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Local club stands down team over sexism scandal

Knox Football Netball Club have stood down their development team pending an investigation, after reports emerged of sexist behaviour towards an opposition women’s team.

According to 3AW’s Jacqui Felgate, players from Knox’s men’s team rated Donvale women’s team players as they ran out onto the ground, while also attempting to trip them.

In response to the incident, Knox penned an open letter on the club’s social media account confirming they and the Eastern Football Netball League would be investigating the matter, having discovered that members of their development team were responsible for the vile acts.

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The whole team has been stood down indefinitely as a result.

“KFNC recognises that such behaviour is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the values of the club,” the statement reads.

“We are committed to learning from this incident and ensuring that such behaviour is not repeated in the future.

“Our club stands for inclusivity, respect, and safety for all members, and we will continue to uphold these values in everything we do.”

Knox will also be implementing a ‘comprehensive behavioural and domestic violence educational program across the entire club’, with participation required for players to continue to play with the club, as well as partnering with a local family violence shelter.

Scott not panicking as Cats’ form slump continues

Geelong coach Chris Scott concedes the Cats have “some problems” amid a three-game AFL losing streak, but is adamant they can arrest their sudden slide.

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The Cats (7-3), who won their first seven games of the season, suffered a 26.8 (164) to 15.10 (100) thumping from Gold Coast in Darwin, where they were smashed around the ground on Thursday night.

It followed earlier defeats to Melbourne and Port Adelaide, with Scott conceding Geelong needed to “galvanise” their players before hosting hard-nosed GWS next Saturday.

“It’s not as if we have a history of playing this poorly, consistently,” Scott said.

“So we always tend to look on the bright side and try to find the positives,

“But we’re not playing well, we’ve got to try to galvanise the group and we’ve got a longer break leading into another good team in GWS.

“We can arrest things. I’ve got no doubt about that.

“You’re always concerned but it’s a balance between not glossing over it – and we’re clearly not going to do that – but we’re also not going to overreact.

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“So that’s the challenge: trying to find that reality. And hopefully that’s in the middle somewhere, but it’s clear that we’re off and we’ve got some problems that we need to fix.”

Geelong’s decision to manage three experienced players came under the spotlight as the Cats were well beaten around the ground.

Despite losing Jeremy Cameron to concussion, the Cats still opted to manage fellow key forward Tom Hawkins, while fellow veterans Mitch Duncan and Rhys Stanley were also rested.

“We certainly need to analyse it and we’ve known for a long, long time it’s one of those things that when we win, we feel really good about it and when you lose, you go and analyse everything,” Scott said.

“(Sam) De Koning came out late with a tight hamstring as well, there’s always a little bit more to it than just voluntarily leaving guys out that are in tip-top shape

“But it’s certainly something that we need to assess. It’s probably in that category of we shouldn’t just shake it off – we’ve got to think through how we build.

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“Maybe there is an element of not quite having the cohesion that we’d like at the moment. But again, not something that we’re gonna make snap decisions on or give opinions on right now.”

Cam Guthrie was substituted out in the third quarter and Scott said he too had been managed.

(AAP)

Swan in ‘no doubt’ Parker will return after latest snub

Nick Blakey has backed Luke Parker to play a key role in Sydney’s AFL premiership push despite the experienced midfielder again being overlooked at selection, this time for the blockbuster clash with Carlton.

After missing the start of the season with a broken arm, Parker has returned with a bang in a series of strong VFL performances.

But the decorated 31-year-old – a three-time club champion, former captain, All-Australian and premiership hero – has been unable to break into a senior midfield group that has fired the AFL ladder-leading Swans to an 8-1 start.

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Brownlow Medal favourite Isaac Heeney has shone since being pushed further up the ground in the absence of Parker and injured captain Callum Mills (shoulder), while Chad Warner and Errol Gulden have taken their games to new levels.

The Swans opted to rest Matt Roberts for Friday night’s clash with Carlton at the SCG, but recalled Braeden Campbell from the reserves ahead of Parker.

“That’s probably the evolution of this team now,” Swans defender Blakey said.

“Parksy is an incredible player and has done so much for this club, and he’s obviously still coming back from injury as well.

“I’ve got no doubt that he’ll be back in the team at some stage.

“He’ll keep going about his business and when his time comes I’m sure he’ll play well.”

Luke Parker celebrates a goal.

Luke Parker celebrates a goal. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Parker has averaged almost 30 disposals a game in his three VFL appearances to date and kicked the match-winning goal against North Melbourne last week with a bomb from outside 50m.

“It’s hard not to see, he’s got it saved on his phone,” Blakey laughed.

“He reckons it was 90 metres away. It was a very good goal.”

Sydney will play their fourth standalone Thursday or Friday night match of the season against a talented Carlton outfit that fancy themselves on the big stage.

The seventh-placed Blues (6-3) have played five matches in those feature time slots this year and three times in front of crowds well in excess of 80,000 fans this season.

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“We’re used to playing in front of big crowds and we’d like to think that we can adapt if it’s a little bit hostile at any stage,” Carlton coach Michael Voss said.

“We’re playing against a really good opposition that deserves an enormous amount of respect.

“But at the same time we come in really confident with what we’ve been able to put on the table over the course of the last month.”

Carlton have made four changes following last week’s thrilling one-point win over Melbourne, losing Adam Cerra (hamstring), Matt Cottrell (foot) and Jack Martin (calf) to injuries.

Lachlan Cowan has been dropped while Zac Williams, Caleb Marchbank, Jack Carroll and Orazio Fantasia all return.

(AAP)

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