Footy club appeals junior star’s 18-week striking ban
A VICTORIAN country football club has appealed an 18-week suspension handed down to one of its junior stars after two opposition players were left in hospital following an under-17 Aussie rules grand final last month.
On Friday, Rumbalara Football Club appealed the decision of the Murray Football League Independent Tribunal, which handed down the suspension on Wednesday night to Rumbalara under-17s player Joven Sorgel.
Sorgel pleaded guilty to two charges of intentionally striking and was subsequently suspended for a total of 18 matches by the tribunal.
The suspension came after two incidents in the final minutes of the MFL under-17s grand final between Rumbalara and Cobram on September 21, which were captured on video.
Two Cobram players - one aged just 15 - missed the immediate celebrations of their team's 29-point win as they were taken by ambulance to hospital with concussion symptoms.
Doctors told both boys not to partake in any physical contact activities for 21 days, and one of the boys also received two stitches after sustaining a cut to his cheek.
News Corp has been told that one of the boys was hit from behind, and the other boy's injury followed a scuffle between multiple players.
Cobram chose not to have its players receive their premiership medallions on the ground immediately after the game, following the heated scenes.
It is understood civil action is still being considered.
Sorgel was named runner-up in Rumbalara's under-17s best-and-fairest count just days before the incident.
He faces being automatically deregistered by AFL Victoria under the National Player and Official Deregistration Policy if the ban is upheld on appeal.
That policy states that any player over 16 years of age who is suspended for a total of 16 matches as a result of reportable offences shall be automatically deregistered.
AFL Victoria confirmed on Friday that an appeals hearing would take place, but said a date for the hearing was yet to be set.