Swans undecided on Hall's future: Kirk - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans undecided on Hall's future: Kirk

By Greg Buckle 01/07/2009 07:58:55 PM Comments (0)

Sydney co-captain Brett Kirk says the decision on whether to retain or sack fiery forward Barry Hall is the biggest challenge the Swans have faced in the past decade.

Triple All-Australian Hall has accepted a two-game ban from the AFL tribunal for striking Adelaide fullback Ben Rutten, lifting his career tally of matches missed through suspension to 26.

"Yes it is (the club's biggest challenge) because of how much Barry has given to the footy club," Kirk said on Wednesday.

"The club as a whole, we care about Barry, we support him.

"I'd trust him with my kids.

"But at some point this is unacceptable.

"All we have at heart is Barry's best interest, but also the best interest of the football club, our reputation and the culture that we've been able to instil in the last seven years.

"His actions have shown a lot of difference to what he has spoken about.

"Whilst I can help and support him, he's the one ultimately who is going to have to change his pattern of behaviour."

Hall, 32, received a seven-game suspension last year for striking West Coast's Brent Staker and was also banned for attempting to strike Collingwood Shane Wakelin in 2008.

Kirk now finds himself one of the self-described "stakeholders" charged with deciding the ex-skipper's future, along with coach Paul Roos, football manager Andrew Ireland and club chairman Richard Colless.

Asked if Hall would play again for the Swans, Kirk said: "It's not something that we're going to make a rash decision about ... an emotional decision.

"Especially for me, he's a friend, I care about him. But also I'm a captain of the footy club.

"I've got a duty as a captain and a responsibility to the younger players coming through to stand for something and to have a culture that everyone looks at from the outside and the club has a really great reputation.

"That is something that I hold close.

"We're only guardians of the footy club. No one is here forever so we want to leave the club a better place.

"It's tough, the responsibility I have taken on.

"We've gone through a lot together and I feel like I connect with him. As a captain you want to see it through their eyes.

"But also it has to be very tough love. I can care for him but also I can say `no, this has got to stop mate'.

"Yeah it would be really sad (to see Hall sacked), how much he has given to our footy club. But that's the position he has put himself in."

Kirk said a decision on bringing 2005 premiership captain back into the side in round 16 would not hinge on whether the 11th-placed Swans win their next two games against North Melbourne and Essendon.

"It has nothing to do with us playing finals footy. No individual is bigger than the footy club," Kirk said.

Roos said on Monday he had strong doubts whether Hall wanted to continue playing in the AFL.

Roos said he and some other members of the Swans' coaching staff had spoken with Hall on Tuesday.

"There were probably five or six people in the room, we just sort of chatted, had a general discussion about it more than anything else," Roos told Melbourne's SEN radio on Wednesday.

"Probably the next stage is to sit down with him one-on-one and have another chat to him."

Roos said the one-on-one discussion was likely to occur on Thursday.

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