Broken thumb to put Oliver aside; De Goey excluded; Voss defends Cripps; Parish is missing a month

“Unfortunately, scans have shown a fracture in Clayton’s thumb, which will require surgery and most likely exclude him from roster for round 18. The good news is that if he misses the game with Port, we expect he will be back and ready to go for round 19. He will be able to continue his conditioning work and we will try to reintegrate him into light skills after his surgery.”

Oliver’s hand was injured when Geelong skipper Joel Selwood tried to kick the ball away as Oliver was about to gain possession. Oliver got a free kick for Selwood who put himself in danger.

The 24-year-old, who is a Brownlow Medal fan, is a key player in the Demons’ battle for consecutive premierships.

Quad tribe rules De Goey, Parish descends calf

Peter Ryan

Collingwood’s Jordan De Goey will miss two to three weeks after a scan confirmed he strained his quad in training on Thursday, while the Bombers will be without midfielder Darcy Parish for a month after he strained his calf.

It means the out-of-contract Magpies midfielder won’t be back against Port Adelaide until round 20. He has only played one game since his ill-fated trip to Bali, in which he made headlines and had to publicly apologize for his behavior after a video of him partying was posted on social media.

The ensuing fallout saw Collingwood remove a significant contract offer with the 26-year-old in 2023 increasingly likely to be with another club.

He had a subpar performance against the Suns in round 15, but he was in good form for the bye and was a crucial driver behind Collingwood’s rise to the top eight. The club described the tension as mild and said he will be re-evaluated next week, but his time on the sidelines is likely to be two to three weeks.

Jordan De Goey at Collingwood training after his return from BaliCredit:Getty Images

Defender Jack Magden will miss six weeks after breaking his thumb in training on Thursday with surgery needed to repair his injury.

Josh Carmichael, who chose Collingwood in the mid-season draft, will make his debut on Saturday.

Essendon’s Parish this week complained of a sore calf during training and scans showed he had strained the muscle. The club said the injury was in a different region from where he was corked last month, a blow that forced him to miss the game against St Kilda.

Andy McGrath returns for the Brisbane Lions game, but Archie Perkins – who withdrew from the Sydney game late last week – will miss again. The Lions have also lost Harris Andrews to COVID-19 protocols.

Voss defends Cripps, injured Blues on the mend

Andrew Wue

Carlton coach Michael Voss says it is unrealistic to expect captain Patrick Cripps to maintain his exceptional form from the start of the year.

After having more than 30 possession and scoring a goal in each of his first six games without injury, Cripps’ output has plummeted, although he has remained a major contributor to the Blues.

Michael Voss says it's unrealistic to expect Patrick Cripps to maintain his early season form all year round.

Michael Voss says it’s unrealistic to expect Patrick Cripps to maintain his early season form all year round.Credit:Getty Images

Brownlow’s early season favorite has racked up over 30 possession in two of his last three games but failed to score.

“What I would say is if he maintained that level [from the start of the season], he would have 80 votes in the Brownlow. That might be a little unfair to everyone else!” said Fox.

“The challenge is that if you set such a high standard, some of it is not likely to continue on that trajectory.

“’Crippa’ is really clear about what he has to do and he’s doing a great job for us as the leader of this club. I think his last few weeks have been fantastic… I think it’s unrealistic to expect him to play at that level for 23 weeks of the season.”

Cripps played primarily as a midfielder at the start of the year, but has spent time in the ruck on breaks in attack to make up for the Blues’ shortage of big players.

“When we were missing staff in our front half, we needed him to play in a different way. When we had staff, he played something different,” said Voss.

“You couldn’t get me to express more gratitude for our captain. He has embraced absolutely everything that was asked of him

The Blues should win back a large number of first-choice players in the coming rounds, starting this week with Jacob Weitering and minor forward Matthew Owies, at the expense of Brodie Kemp and Josh Honey, for the trip to Perth for an improved West Coast. †

Jacob Weitering returns for Carlton's game against West Coast.

Jacob Weitering returns for Carlton’s game against West Coast.Credit:AFL Photos

Mitch McGovern will return next week after three months out with a hamstring injury, while ruckman Marc Pittonet is “one to two” weeks away from returning from a knee injury. Ed Curnow and Sam Durdin are also returning to competitive football this weekend.

“We have to carefully integrate them back into it. How we do that, we’ll probably handle each case as it comes,” Voss said. “There are some guys out there like” [Marc Pittonet] which will be back in a week or two, so it’s about how we get them back on the sidelines. We haven’t had that discussion yet, but it’s firmly on the radar.

“We are not here to say that we should rush anything. We want sustainability, we don’t just want to fix an acute area and think that’s going to change everything for us.

“We have to play the long game and make sure they’re ready to go and help us gain momentum.”

The Eagles confirmed that spearhead Josh Kennedy would play after missing last week’s game against Richmond.

Rat signs until the end of 2024

Peter Ryan

St Kilda coach Brett Ratten said he still has high hopes for the Saints in 2022 as they face a crucial clash with finals candidates Fremantle who is in ninth place after the club re-signed him for two years, cutting his time with the club will be extended until at least the end of 2024.

Ratten, who turns 51 on Monday, is in his third full season with the Saints and has led them to one final win during his time at the club.

He said his unsigned hadn’t distracted him from developing a strong football program that could lead to a premiership.

St Kilda coach Brett Ratten has signed a new two-year contract with the club.

St Kilda coach Brett Ratten has signed a new two-year contract with the club.Credit:Getty Images

With nine wins and six defeats, the Saints are just outside eight and Ratten admitted their position reflected where they currently stand in the league.

“As the leader of our men’s program, Brett has secured significant buy-in from his fellow coaches, staff and players,” Bassat said.


“In addition to his strong football IQ, our players appreciate his ability to develop strong relationships, which he uses as a foundation to challenge each individual to get better and fulfill their role for the team.

“We must be relentless and embrace every day as an opportunity to improve. Brett exemplifies this urgency on a daily basis, not only through his coaching, but through the transparent and authentic way he gets the best out of those around him.

“His genuine belief and deep understanding of where we all want this club to go is evident in every decision he makes, and even more so in the way he brings others with him.”

Ratten was officially appointed as St Kilda’s coach in 2020, having replaced Alan Richardson as interim coach at the end of 2019. He had spent five years as a senior coach at Carlton before being an assistant coach at Hawthorn during their three-time premiership. He is considered a people person who builds strong relationships with players and staff.

The Saints are ninth on the ladder with a percentage that keeps them outside the top eight. They upset Carlton at Marvel Stadium last week to stay in the final.

The only officially vacant AFL senior coaching position is in Greater Western Sydney as they look to replace Leon Cameron, with North Melbourne coach David Noble is also under pressure to keep his job, and there is still speculation about the future of Essendon coach Ben Rutten.

The Kangaroos and Essendon both undergo assessments, with North Melbourne is managed by outside consultant Geoff Walshand the Bombers who use three board members to gather information.

Uni Blues fined, loses premiership points after violation

Peter Ryan

VAFA club University Blues are battling to retain their spot in the Association’s premier league after losing their premiership points for violating player points rules in nine games in 2022.

The club – which AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan once played for – was also fined $22,000 (semi-suspended) and lost percentage earned in the relevant games from fifth to second bottom.

The decision was made after a series of audits, investigations, appeals and court hearings revealed that 22 incorrect player points had been awarded, exceeding the player limit of 45 points per game.

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