Article originally published by Warragul & Drouin Gazette on Tuesday 17th September, 2019
The appeal by Ellinbank Football Club against the disqualification of one of its players from taking part in Saturday’s grand final proved an expensive throw of the dice for the club.
Adam Cook was suspended by the Ellinbank and District League’s independent tribunal for two matches (that included the grand final) as a result of an incident in the previous Saturday’s preliminary final.
Cook appeared on a charge of “making unreasonable and unnecessary contact with the “face” on Neerim Neerim South player Calum Shiels who was knocked unconscious.
The incident in the first quarter stopped the game for 38 minutes while Shiels was treated on the ground and then taken to hospital by ambulance.
Ellinbank appealed against Cook’s suspension to the AFL Vic Country appeals board that considered it last Thursday night.
The appeal was dismissed and the penalty remained.
To lodge an appeal costs $2500.
Clubs must also provide in advance another $3000 that the appeal board can decide to refund in full or in part or give no refund at all. (The $3000 “bond” aims to discourage frivolous appeals).
Ellinbank also engaged prominent Melbourne-based player advocate Ian Finlay to represent Cook at the appeal hearing.
According to a couple of clubs in the region that have used Finlay’s services during the past couple of years he comes at a “four-figure fee” but nothing like what was being bandied around in some quarters at the weekend.
The EDFL tribunal members Peter Gallasch (chairman), Vin Roche and Keith Wilkins took almost two hours to hear witnesses and make its decision last Tuesday.
As well as representatives from the Ellinbank and Neerim Neerim South clubs witnesses at the hearing included two of the officiating umpires Gerald Boland, who made the report, and Brodie Wyatt.
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