Sylvia surprised AFL cleared Kennedy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sylvia surprised AFL cleared Kennedy

By Roger Vaughan 19/04/2010 04:55:30 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne forward Colin Sylvia admits he is confused about the AFL's decision not to take action over the incident that left him with a broken jaw.

Sylvia kicked five goals in Sunday's win over Richmond, his first match since suffering the injury in a pre-season game against West Coast.

Josh Kennedy collected Sylvia with a shepherd and the incident has sparked plenty of debate about head-high contact in the game.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has backed the match review panel's decision to clear Kennedy, but also acknowledges that people could have a different view.

"I was definitely surprised - it's a big greyness area with the head-high hits," Sylvia said of the Kennedy verdict.

"I moved on from it quickly, (it was) disappointing I missed the first few rounds of the year.

"You've just got to steer away from the head-high contact, he was probably lucky in a way, I suppose.

"That's footy - you don't really want to take the bump out of the game, but ... obviously there have been instances recently where guys have been suspended for it."

Sylvia's return has helped ease the injury problems at Melbourne, who had the rare status of favouritism for Sunday's game.

They could also have an unchanged line-up for Saturday night's big test against unbeaten Brisbane at the MCG, another unusual occurrence for the Demons.

After several years of struggle and a bad round-one loss to Hawthorn, they have shown great improvement in the past three weeks and have a two-two record.

"They've been little belief 'bricks' that we've been putting in place over the last three weeks, but we know ... we've got a lot of improving to do and a long way to go," Sylvia said.

"It's going to be a true test this week against Brisbane on Saturday night.

"It's been a long time coming - it's exciting times at the moment, but we're not getting too carried away with yesterday's win, we'll move on from it quickly and start narrowing our focus on Brisbane."

Sylvia said coach Dean Bailey kept him back for an extra week, against his wishes, before he returned against the Tigers.

"Let's just say it was a long, slow five weeks waiting to get out there and play," he said.

"It was good to contribute on the weekend and have a good win."

At 24, Sylvia is one of the most experienced players in the young Melbourne squad - but was very quick to point out that captain James McDonald is a lot older.

"It was a bit of a surprise at the start of the year, I think I was the ninth or eighth-oldest player at the club now, at 24," he said.

"James McDonald sits at the top of the list at 33, going on 34 this year - he's still playing like a 21-year-old.

"Definitely, I think I'd like to be pushing for leadership in the near future."

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