Tigers fum­ing over ban­ner

Geelong Advertiser - - FOOTY FIX - ALEX OATES

BAN­NOCK­BURN says its on­ce­healthy re­la­tion­ship with In­ver­leigh has been tar­nished af­ter a ban­ner sur­faced at Satur­day’s GDFL grand fi­nal ac­cus­ing its cap­tain of hav­ing a “glass jaw”.

Tigers pres­i­dent Neil Grin­ter said the club took of­fence to the “dis­taste­ful” mes­sage draped over the fence at The Gor­don TAFE Oval, re­quest­ing the league launch an investigation into the in­ci­dent.

The ban­ner, in Hawks colours and with what ap­peared the In­ver­leigh logo, made references to a “glass jaw” and a “Banno whinger”.

A dis­ap­pointed and up­set In­ver­leigh moved to dis­tance it­self from the ban­ner yes­ter­day, declar­ing it was made without any knowl­edge or ap­proval from the club.

It’s the lat­est saga in a bit­ter fall­ing out be­tween the arch ri­vals, who were em­broiled in con­tro­versy fol­low­ing a spite­ful pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal, in which Tiger skip­per Jack Brau­man suf­fered a bro­ken jaw as a re­sult of an el­bow from Hawk Ryan Gar­rard.

Gar­rard was of­fered two matches by AFL Bar­won’s Match Re­view Panel, be­fore Ban­nock­burn ex­er­cised its right to have the case heard at the tri­bunal.

Ban­nock­burn coach Pe­ter Ric­cardi im­me­di­ately de­scribed the in­ci­dent as a “bla­tant el­bow” and claimed it would be a “joke” if he es­caped a hefty ban, caus­ing sim­mer­ing ten­sions be­tween the clubs. Gar­rard was later is­sued a sixweek sus­pen­sion, end­ing his grand fi­nal dreams. Ric­cardi moved to ease fric­tion, declar­ing he planned to reach out to Gar­rard af­ter the grand fi­nal.

But as the clubs be­gan to move on, the ban­ner emerged.

“It’s a bit dis­taste­ful,” Tigers pres­i­dent Neil Grin­ter said yes­ter­day.

“This guy has gone and had three plates put in his face, and we’ve gone through all the pro­ce­dures, and it’s not like we did any­thing wrong.

“Jack’s not happy and nor is his fam­ily. Know­ing Jack as well as I do, it makes him look a bit silly. It’s not the way it should be.

“The out­cry from some of the peo­ple who have been around our club for a long time ... they were ap­palled by it, and for Jack’s sake, I was too.

“We don’t need that sort of stuff. I saw the X-rays of Jack’s jaw, and for them to say he’s got a glass jaw, it’s not good enough.

“I’m the trainer and when he came off the ground there was a half a cen­time­tre gap be­tween his two bot­tom teeth where his jaw had cracked and I don’t think any­one would’ve (es­caped in­jury from) what he copped.”

An­gry at the cre­ators of the ban­ner, In­ver­leigh pres­i­dent Rick McE­wan said he was frus­trated the re­la­tion­ship with Ban­nock­burn had been fur­ther soured.

“That’s the sad part about it,” McE­wan said.

“It turns out it was a few kids that made it, from what I can gather, but I se­ri­ously didn’t see it and I’m up­set that it was ac­tu­ally there.

“I’m go­ing to find out more, and I’ve been ask­ing around be­cause the league has spo­ken to me about it, but that’s not how we roll out here.

“If I’d seen it, I would have taken it down my­self. I was com­pletely un­aware of it and so was the com­mit­tee. Even (se­nior coach) Mark McDow­ell didn’t know about it.”

Grin­ter said Brau­man was not at the grand fi­nal to see the ban­ner, but mem­bers of his fam­ily were soon no­ti­fied.

A video sur­faced on Bell Post Hill’s Face­book page of a group of men walk­ing across the ground and con­fronting the own­ers of the ban­ner, be­fore tear­ing it down. “I was just sur­prised,” Grin­ter said. “Af­ter the let­ter In­ver­leigh sent to the press about how sorry they were for Jack and how they wanted to move on, then they go and put this (ban­ner) up.

“The whole episode with Jack and Gar­rard ... we thought we did the right thing in ap­peal­ing the de­ci­sion be­cause it was more than a hip-and-shoul­der.

“So we’ve gone through the process and we were happy with the re­sult, and so was Jack, and we just wanted to move on. “We’ve worked hard, par­tic­u­larly me as a pres­i­dent, to calm ev­ery­thing down be­cause these things can re­ally get out of hand and we got ev­ery­thing sorted out and this came up.”

The ban­ner

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