Lloyd is no sniper, says AFL boss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lloyd is no sniper, says AFL boss

By Robert Grant 01/09/2009 04:45:42 PM Comments (0)

Essendon skipper Matthew Lloyd is no sniper, according to AFL boss Andrew Demetriou.

Lloyd's decorated career with the Bombers could be over after he was offered a four match ban for a massive hit on Hawthorn's Brad Sewell on Saturday.

The intemperate bump came just a week after Hawk spearhead Lance Franklin was suspended for a head-high tackle which left Richmond's Ben Cousins with concussion.

The suspension means that if Essendon lose their elimination final this Friday night, Lloyd would be out of action until round three next season.

But coach Matthew Knights has said that the suspension will not be a factor in whether Lloyd keeps playing.

Demetriou denied Lloyd was a dirty player and said he even regretted his action, which resulted in Sewell being taken from the ground with a fractured jaw and eye socket.

"No I don't (think he's a dirty player), I think Matthew Lloyd's one of the great players we've had to have played our game, one of the greatest full-forwards who have ever played the game," Demetriou said on Tuesday.

"I think Matthew Lloyd has been a wonderful player, a wonderful servant to the game, one of the greatest full-forwards that we've ever seen.

"I think he regrets what happened and you could even tell by his post match interview - I don't think he thought that was a good thing to see at all."

Following the incident Hawthorn's Campbell Brown, speaking on radio, described Lloyd as a "sniper" and said "his time is coming."

"I think he could have chosen his words better and I think his coach (Alastair Clarkson) has acknowledged that some words could have been chosen better," Demetriou said of Brown.

"My personal view is that I just don't think there's any room for those sorts of comments in the game.

"But people will make their own minds up about those comments, it doesn't need me to pass my judgment."

Demetriou said that the rules regarding head-high tackles were "absolutely" working, despite Lloyd's action.

"The rules have been in place for three years and we've had the lowest incidence of head and neck injuries on absolute fact, which is our AFL medical officers' surveys," he said.

"That is something that we can pinpoint and go to as actually factual, rather than hysteria and emotional nonsense and claptrap.

"I don't think anybody being objective wants to see Brad Sewell lying on the ground in that sort of condition and the more we can do to educate that it's okay to tackle and bump below the head, we'll continue to do."

Demetriou said the outcry after Franklin's suspension that the bump was dead in football was "nonsense and drivel."

"The game's as tough as it's ever been and if you want to be tough, the tough players go for the ball."

Also on Tuesday, St Kilda midfielder Lenny Hayes said it was tough at times for players to avoid head-high contact.

"It's a split-second decision, that's what is so hard about these things - it happens so quickly.

"Once you're committed, it's hard to pull back.

"The intensity goes up a little bit in finals.

"Most players ... are aware of it, that you don't want to be going in willy-nilly.

"If you're concentrating on the footy, you should be right."

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