"Andrew Gaff - who probably shouldn't be playing AFL football, with all due respect... he finished seventh in their best and fairest."
GWS have failed in their bid to overturn goalsneak Toby Bedford’s one match suspension, ruling him out of their do-or-die elimination final clash with St Kilda.
Bedford was initially handed a one-match ban for rough conduct after an alleged high bump on Carlton’s Zac Fisher during the Giants’ finals-clinching win in Round 24.
AFL counsel deemed the incident, in which Bedford made contact with the oncoming Fisher after handballing to Giants teammate Harry Himmelberg, was unreasonable in the circumstances, with the Giants’ bid to downgrade the charge from medium to low impact, and that the blow did not catch Fisher high, unsuccessful.
While Fisher was required by the Blues to take a concussion test at three-quarter time shortly after the incident, he said he was surprised to receive one after being called by the Giants to give evidence at the hearing.
“Taking all matters into account including the speed and force with which the players collided and the inherent likelihood that forceful contact to the head can happen in a way that appeared consistent with the vision and the still photos to have likely occurred, we are clearly satisfied that this was forceful contact to Fisher’s head,” Tribunal chairperson Jeff Gleeson said in a statement released to Fox Sports.
“We reject the submission that forceful contact was caused by circumstances outside of the control of Bedford which could not be reasonably foreseen. The way in which Fisher’s body moved as he was running in pursuit of his opponent was reasonably foreseeable.
“As to the level of impact, we are satisfied that this was medium impact. The nature of the impact and in particular the speed and force involved means that there was potential to cause a concussion or facial injury.
“The Head Impact Assessment undertaken by Fisher provides some support for the conclusion that a concussion injury may have occurred as a result of this bump.
“The charge as classified is upheld.”
It’s the second time Bedford has been suspended in his first season with the Giants, with the former Demon copping another one-match ban for a dangerous tackle on Sydney’s Ollie Florent during the Sydney Derby in early August.
The Giants have since confirmed they will not be challenging the verdict.
Rock and roll icons KISS will be the headline act during the 2023 AFL grand final’s pre-match entertainment.
The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame band, whose world album sales exceed 100 million, will perform as part of their ‘End of the World’ global tour, and have a message for footy fans: ‘be ready to ROCK!’
“We will be performing at the 2023 Toyota AFL Grand Final. We cannot wait to create rock ‘n’ roll history playing at the iconic MCG in Melbourne for one last time,” the band said in a statement.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be to be performing in front of 100,000 footy fans at the biggest and best sporting event in the country! Be ready to ROCK as we’ll be coming full throttle into the ‘G. See you for that One Day in September!”
“KISS will bring the energy and their trademark showmanship to Grand Final Day and put on a great, great show for the 100,000 fans at the ‘G and millions watching around the country,” AFL commercial manager Kylie Rogers said.
“Their reputation speaks for itself, they are responsible for some of the best live shows in music history and we know Gene, Paul, Eric and Tommy will absolutely rock the MCG pre-game.”
The appointment comes after Australian band Crowded House reportedly withdrew from playing at the AFL grand final, with suggestions this was due to a disagreement with the AFL over where the stage would be placed.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has described as “significant” the appointment of troubled former great Mark Thompson to present the Jock McHale Medal to this year’s premiership coach.
Thompson, a three-time premiership player with Essendon and dual flag-winning coach of Geelong, was convicted for drug possession in 2019.
He was fined $3000 and ordered to undergo rehabilitation, while a drug trafficking charge against him was dismissed.
Separately, Thompson was fined $30,000 for his part in the Bombers’ infamous 2012 supplements program.
The 59-year-old, who left the AFL after coaching Essendon through the 2014 season, has worked to rebuild his life in recent years away from football.
He will present the McHale Medal to the premiership coach on stage after the grand final at the MCG on September 30.
“In our game, I think people make mistakes and I think we have an ability to actually welcome people back and continue to celebrate their place and their role in the game,” McLachlan said.
“That is certainly where Mark is. He was a great player and a significant coach, and I’m really pleased that he’s going to be presenting the (medal) to the premiership coach.
“I hope it’s significant for Mark and I think it’s significant for the game.”
Thompson was confirmed as this year’s McHale Medal presenter at the official AFL finals launch on Monday.
“I think he’s pleased,” McLachlan said.
“I think Mark needs to speak to that for himself but I do think it’s significant.”
Former Carlton and West Coast champion Chris Judd will present the Norm Smith Medal on grand final day, while former Sydney Swans captain Josh Kennedy is this year’s premiership cup ambassador.