AFL sledging a waste of breath: Worsfold - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL sledging a waste of breath: Worsfold

By Justin Chadwick and Guy Hand 18/08/2011 06:14:42 PM Comments (0)

West Coast AFL coach John Worsfold has labelled sledging a "waste of breath" in the wake of Patrick McGinnity's disturbing comments to Melbourne's Ricky Petterd.

The Eagles slapped McGinnity with a one-match ban and ordered him to undergo counselling after it was revealed the fringe midfielder told Petterd he would "rape" his mother in an on-field sledge last week.

Worsfold said the incident had taught his whole playing group a valuable lesson about the fine line they tread should they choose to sledge.

The two-times premiership-winning captain revealed he had copped a variety of sledges throughout his playing career, but questioned the worth of using such a practice to gain an on-field advantage.

"It doesn't really serve any purpose," Worsfold said on Thursday.

"I think for every player who makes a comment that might cross the line, not too many players are immediately affected by it.

"They might be offended, but I don't think it affects their performance, so it does become a waste of breath.

"I had a player apologise to me after a game once for something he said.

"I had taken no offence to it because he was right.

"I'd better not say what he said.

"But look, there's no use talking about what happened ... 15 years ago now since I played. That's a long time ago and things have changed and standards are different."

Melbourne stand-in coach Todd Viney echoed Worsfold's thoughts.

"Players need to move on and get out of the dark ages with all that stuff, and I think the players are slowly learning," Viney said.

"I reckon it (sledging) is a load of rubbish.

"Get on with playing footy - you're either good enough or you're not. It doesn't help too much."

Worsfold conceded there was probably offensive sledging still taking place but going unpunished.

"I'm sure there's lots of comments made in a game still that would offend certain players," Worsfold said.

"It depends on what level of offence they take, I suppose.

"It's always about exactly what crosses a line and what doesn't.

"I think it's up to every individual and, if they're offended, they've got the right to say that."

Worsfold said McGinnity was remorseful for the comment and the incident wouldn't affect his future selection chances.

"Paddy understands very clearly what he did wrong and he understands the penalty and he's forever remorseful, so he just wants to train well and be available to play next week," Worsfold said.

"It's important that he just learns from it and that's happened; he'll undergo the counselling.

"He's learnt what the rules are. He's a lot more clear on all that.

"I think from the moment he uttered the words, he was remorseful and in the heat of the moment he'd made a mistake."

Eagles skipper Darren Glass and Beau Waters will replace McGinnity and Mitch Brown (dropped) for Saturday's clash with Essendon at Patersons Stadium.

The Bombers recalled Tom Bellchambers, Nathan Lovett-Murray and David Myers in place of Ricky Dyson (omitted), Tayte Pears (soreness) and Michael Hurley (soreness).

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