MAIDEN Gully YCW president Chris Garlick believes the fallout from his club's player points breach and the costly flow-on effect to Marong needs to be considered in future cases.
The Eagles breached their player points limit of 45 in their round 14 win over Calivil United, the result of which has had a major bearing on the Loddon Valley league finals.
The Eagles beat Calivil United 7.10 (52) to 6.12 (48), but were stripped of their points and their score annulled to zero as the sanction handed down by the AFLCV Commission.
The awarding of the four points to Calivil United has subsequently allowed the Demons to get fifth spot by percentage from Marong.
Or as Marong co-coach Taylor Beard said: "Effectively a team that has won more games is missing out on a technicality."
Garlick agrees, describing the Panthers as "collateral damage" in the saga, which was finally concluded on Wednesday when the Eagles' appeal to AFL Victoria against their breach penalty was dismissed.
"At the end of the day Marong is the collateral damage in this and that's very unfortunate," Garlick said.
"Personally, I think if you're going to strip points off a team that breached then that's fair enough, but I don't think they should be then allocated to teams that lose a game of football.
"Unfortunately, Marong hasn't had anything to do with this and they have ultimately been the most affected out of it given they effectively won more games than Calivil this year, but miss out on the finals."
The Eagles had 14 days to appeal the sanction handed down by the commission and did so on the 14th day.
The timing of the Eagles lodging the appeal came only after they had nothing to gain from a finals-positioning perspective regardless of the outcome.
"We waited until we were sure that our appeal would not improve our ladder position so that it could be considered purely on merit," Garlick said.
"Our appeal was against the severity of a sanction imposed for an unintentional mistake by volunteers where we feel the breach didn't affect the outcome of the game.
"We don't believe the sanction reflected the severity of the offence, so our appeal was so that all clubs in the future who have volunteers who may make a mistake that doesn't cause any major damage receive a punishment that is relative to the offence.
"In our case we openly admitted we made the breach and felt a severe reprimand or suspended sentence would have been a reasonable outcome."
The Eagles breached their limit of 45 when the late-inclusion of Taylor Collins (three points) for Luke Ross (one point) tipped them over to 47 points.
Collins is a three-point player under the "transferred junior" component of the AFL Victoria points system having previously played with Kangaroo Flat juniors before joining the Eagles' under-18s three years ago.
"Our senior coach (Wayne Mitrovic) at three quarter-time of the reserves needed to bring up a player due to a late withdrawal and there was an assumption that given Taylor has been with us for three years he was a one-pointer," Garlick said.
"Wayne saw it as a good opportunity to reward a young player who does a lot of work around the club with a senior game.
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"Unfortunately, we have no Internet coverage at the ground and therefore we weren't able to re-load the team in at three quarter-time of the reserves when the change was made. But had we been able to the system would have locked us out, alerted us to the breach and we could have avoided what has unfolded."
In dismissing the Eagles' appeal: "the panel deemed that it is the responsibility of each club to show due diligence on team sheets for player points and the aspects considered by the AFL Central Victoria Commission in determining the sanction were reasonable in circumstances."
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