Port coach fears AFL becoming 'precious' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port coach fears AFL becoming 'precious'

By Daniel Brettig and Melissa Woods 03/04/2009 08:51:59 PM Comments (0)

Dean Brogan's one-match AFL suspension is symptomatic of a game that is becoming "precious", according to Port Adelaide Mark Williams.

A day after Brogan's Power team-mate Chad Cornes stoked the fires between their club and the Bombers, Williams expressed concern about the suspension itself.

Initially, Williams was circumspect when asked about the case, saying: "I think footballers generally look after each other (at the tribunal)".

But when pressed, Williams revealed his frustration.

"My view is that two players walking - walking - and one bumps into the other one, yes he did it, he bumped him, but gee whiz, footy's getting a little precious," Williams said on Friday.

"It was pretty insignificant as far as I was concerned."

Brogan has a reputation for being fiery and once found himself in trouble when he punched an Adelaide supporter at Adelaide Airport.

At Tuesday's tribunal hearing, Lovett gave evidence against Brogan and Cornes made it clear on Thursday that Port were not impressed.

Cornes said he is looking forward to playing Essendon again - implying payback will be in order.

The Bombers have rallied around Lovett, with assistant coach Ashley Prescott saying the midfielder had not done anything wrong.

"He just told the truth so we're backing him," Prescott said.

"Port Adelaide are entitled to their opinion."

Lovett's team-mate Brent Stanton, who plays his 100th senior game on Sunday against Fremantle at Etihad Stadium, added he did not think an unofficial players' code of silence at the tribunal existed anymore.

"I wasn't actually there when it happened but the umpire was pretty close so whatever Andrew said it is the truth," Stanton said.

"You can't really lie to the tribunal so the fact is that Andrew went in there and told his side of the story and the umpire did and Brogan got a week.

"There's no real players' code I don't think."

The AFL punishes players who give inconsistent tribunal evidence, with Hawthorn's Campbell Brown fined two years ago after he admitted lying to help then-West Coast captain Chris Judd beat an eye-gouging charge.

Port appeared to target Lovett verbally and physically in the opening round clash as they looked to assert themselves in their 41-point win.

Prescott said the Power had changed their style.

"I think Port have had a real focus on trying to become a little bit more aggressive and even intimidating in the way they play," he said.

Meanwhile, the Power have confirmed Toby Thurstans will replace Brogan on Sunday against West Coast.

Thurstans will play his 100th game, joining Chad Cornes (200), Shaun Burgoyne (150) and Brett Ebert (100) as reaching milestones.

"We really respect their ruck set-up and we need some alternatives to just Ladey (Brendon Lade)," said Williams.

"(Thurstans) can jump, he's a powerful guy with his leap, he can also play back and forward so it does give us a great deal of flexibility."

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