Never do this again, Toby
GIANTS coach Leon Cameron says banned forward Toby Greene can never put himself or the club in this week’s position again, as the fallout from his umpire scandal continues.
Greene copped a threematch suspension for making intentional contact with experienced umpire Matt Stevic during the three-quarter time break of Saturday’s elimination final win over the Swans.
That came at the end of a marathon, four-hour-plus hearing on Tuesday, which followed a media firestorm in the days preceding it.
The AFL wanted him sidelined for a minimum of six games and has appealed Greene’s sanction – claiming it was “manifestly inadequate” – with that hearing to be held after the grand final.
It’s the latest controversy for Greene, who’s been found guilty 22 times in his AFL career, resulting in 11 weeks’ suspension and almost $30,000 of fines.
But the Giants coach said that this was a very different situation to Greene’s previous indiscretions.
“The disappointment is he’s put himself in a position that we all know is so awkward and he was always going to be judged really hard on this,” Cameron said.
“He’s done the wrong thing and he needs to learn from this, but that doesn’t mean we give up on Toby Greene, just because he’s done the wrong thing. I’m his greatest backer.
“I back him in and so I should – I’m his coach. I look at it like when one of your children does the wrong thing and they’ve got to apologise.
“Toby’s apologised and he’s shattered. He knows he’s done the wrong thing. When you’ve got to apologise in life; it’s how you apologise, then what you do about it is what we’ve got to make sure we get right.
“We put our arms around him, we’ve got to educate him and we’ve got to work through some things to make sure this really hard situation Toby found himself in at the weekend never, ever happens again.”
Cameron said Greene, who spent large parts of this season as the Giants’ stand-in skipper, needed to learn from this experience, as he did with previous transgressions.
“Some of the other things he’s gone through are pure footy incidents and we’ve got to continue to educate him on those as well,” he said.
“But this is a different one, which is why I comment that we really need to learn from this one.
“But I’m not going to give up, because the day you give up, what does it say to your person, who every day you’re asking them to do hard pre-seasons and everything else?
“He will learn from this and this is going to be a hard pill to swallow. It’s a raw situation, but we have to learn from it and Toby has to as well.”