Akermanis calls opponent 'dribbler' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Akermanis calls opponent 'dribbler'

By Roger Vaughan 05/07/2010 09:42:38 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs veteran Jason Akermanis is in hot water again with his AFL club after another controversial media comment.

The Brownlow Medallist described VFL opponent Alistair Smith as a "dribbler" and this drew strong criticism from Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade.

Akermanis played for VFL side Williamstown on Sunday against Sandringham and Smith was his direct opponent.

"You go down and play in that league, you get some dribbler who can't play at all, can't kick, his whole job is to hold you and make sure you'd don't get the ball," Akermanis said on Melbourne radio station MTR.

"Then (he) doesn't get off me to go and help his team - that's why his team got flogged."

It was Akermanis's first game back from a hamstring injury and the start of a two-game club suspension for misleading the club about a controversial newspaper column on homosexuality in the AFL.

Williamstown won easily, but Akermanis had minimal impact in the game.

It remains to be seen whether Akermanis can force his way back into the senior side ahead of the finals.

Eade was scathing in his criticism of how Akermanis referred to Smith, who is on St Kilda's senior list and is yet to make his AFL debut.

"I don't know why he said it, because his quotes after the game in the paper (on Monday morning) were very good," Eade told Fairfax Radio.

"(They were) very team-oriented, it was terrific - then to say what he said this morning was pretty disappointing.

"I watched the game and the young lad didn't grab hold of him at all, I thought the kid did a very good job.

"You'd expect a guy of Jason's standing, as he said in the paper, that he's going to be sat on, he's been sat on at AFL level so he knows how to handle that.

"To actually denigrate the young lad was a bit disappointing."

Eade said Bulldogs football manager James Fantasia had spoken to Akermanis about the "dribbler" comments.

"I don't think that needs to be said, he's a young lad who is on a senior list, so obviously he has some talent," Eade said.

"It's disappointing for anyone to really say that, especially a young kid who is coming up.

"From a club point of view, we're probably disappointed that was said."

Meanwhile, Eade remains optimistic about the Bulldogs' chances this season despite being fifth, two games out of the top four.

The Bulldogs lost to Hawthorn on Friday night by three points.

"If we just keep working at it, it will turn - certainly heading into the finals, if we finish fourth, fifth or sixth, we still head in with a fair bit of confidence," Eade said.

Eade added he had a "fairly solid discussion" with the team leaders on Monday morning in the wake of the Hawthorn loss.

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