'Pie Shaw stunned by AFL suspension - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

'Pie Shaw stunned by AFL suspension

Roger Vaughan 30/08/2011 05:45:27 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood defender Heath Shaw admits he was stunned when the AFL came down hard on him for a breach of betting regulations.

The premiership defender's suspension ends this weekend, meaning he will be available for week one of the finals.

Shaw was penalised a total of 14 weeks, six of them suspended, and fined after he was caught betting on the AFL.

He contributed to a small bet on captain Nick Maxwell kicking the first goal of a match.

Shaw also passed on information about Maxwell that led to other small wagers.

"To be honest, I didn't think I'd miss any football - I thought I might get a fine or something like that," Shaw told SEN.

"When the number, 14 weeks, got thrown up at the start, I nearly fell off my chair.

"It was tough and I thought, 'gee, that's a long time', and then it went down to eight, and I thought, 'that's a long time as well'."

While Shaw found the punishment harsh, he also admits there was no-one to blame but himself.

"When you break the rules, you can't really pick your punishment," he said.

"I understand where the AFL are coming from in terms of what it might lead to, not necessarily saying something so minor would turn into match fixing, but if you don't knock it on the head from the start, it could eventuate that way."

But it appears Shaw has made the most of his eight weeks out of the game.

Shaw is back from a fortnight of altitude training in Arizona, which he funded himself.

"He hasn't done himself any harm in terms of the way he's prepared," said Collingwood football manager Geoff Walsh.

"He's really been a credit to himself in terms of the way he's trained and the condition he's presented himself in.

"We know he's a quality player, so he's given himself every chance for the match committee to give him a green light."

Shaw is determined to return to the team as soon as his suspension ends.

"I've really worked hard these last eight weeks to put myself in that position, and then hopefully Mick (coach Mick Malthouse) still likes me and plays me in the first final," Shaw said.

Meanwhile, the Magpies are also pleased with the progress of captain Nick Maxwell and key forward Chris Dawes as they return from injury.

Dawes played in the VFL on the weekend after recovering from a knuckle injury and Walsh said he ran out the game well.

Walsh added Maxwell's recovery had accelerated in the past seven to 10 days and they were hopeful he would be back "sooner rather than later".

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