Rutten says Parker sled ‘on us all’, Lumumba releases more Buckle tapes, AFLW mega pay raise is coming

Essendon manager Ben Rutton has defended Bomber Dylan Shiel under fire, saying Sydney’s Luke Parker sledding for the midfielder on Saturday night reflected poorly on the club as a whole.

Parker’s taunting of Shiel has been a hot topic all week, with former Bombers great Matthew Lloyd infamously saying he wished Shiel had “pierced through” Parker after being “disrespected.”

However, speaking on Thursday morning, Rutten said it was up to the entire club to improve and develop a “tougher lead”, after putting up just 30 tackles against the Swans.

“We haven’t played the hard edge that we need consistently throughout the season and Sydney was a game where we were way below par,” the coach said on Thursday morning.

“This is not about Dylan Shiel, this is about all of us as a football club.

“I don’t think the vision [of Parker’s taunt] It was a reflection of the moment, it was a reflection of us as a club during that game. It was a reflection of us as a club during the match”.

After Captain Dyson Heppell told Fox Footy’s On the couch On Monday night, the Parker incident had not been discussed at the club, Rutten said now all the players have seen the vision, leading to what he described as “some really honest reflections”.

Finding a way forward, Rutten said the standard had been set by young Jye Caldwell’s courageous collision with Swan Tom McCartin, with a host of teammates led by Andrew McGrath defending the injured 21-year-old.

“We have to defend each other. That’s pretty clear. I thought Andy McGrath, after the Jye Caldwell incident, that’s the level we expect from our players,” Rutte said.

“I thought it was fantastic leadership, I thought it was a sign of someone who really cares about the football club and wants to make a difference.

“That’s the quality of person that Andy McGrath is and that’s what we need to see more of. The players are clear about it.”

Caldwell still has a chance to take on Richmond at this weekend’s annual Dreamtime Clash ‘G, despite suffering a shoulder injury in the collision, while Rutten confirmed Shiel will not be eliminated despite calls. speculations.

“Dylan is hurt like a lot of our players right now by the way we are playing. That’s the bottom line,” Rutten said.

“We support Dylan where we can, making sure he has very clear expectations as we do with all of our players.

“Dylan is a great person, he adds a lot to our football club and he adds a lot to us on the pitch.”

While Rutten has been under fire for much of the season after leading the Bombers to the finals in his first year in charge in 2021, he said he welcomes the challenge of proving himself as a coach.

“For me it is a great opportunity to lead the football club and the leadership that is required is what I am looking for,” he said.

Ben Rutten, Senior Assistant Coach and Defenseman for the Bombers team addresses his players

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Lumumba releases more secret Buckley recordings

Heritier Lumumba has released another round of recordings of conversations with former Collingwood manager Nathan Buckley, but the former Magpie has said it will be his last public comment on the bitter feud between the player and the club.

Lumumba took to Twitter to post audio snippets purportedly featuring conversations with Buckley and then-Magpies roster manager Derek Hine, which he claims proves he was forced to leave the club by the manager.

“In response to Nathan Buckley’s false claim last week that he had asked to be moved from CFC, I am providing this recording to make it clear that I was kicked out of the club. They made it clear that they had made their decision and that my only option was to withdraw or be traded,” Lumumba wrote alongside the recording.

“It became clear to me that my decision to challenge the Club’s culture would simply not be tolerated.”

Lumumba claims the two recordings will be his last public comment on his clash with the Magpies, in which he has attempted to go public with issues with the club’s ‘disgusting’ culture and alleged history of racism while playing there.

The 35-year-old has reportedly already cut off communications with the club, expressing frustration at what he describes as their refusal to make a meaningful change despite the ‘Do Better’ report’s recommendations.

“Since the publication of the ‘Do Better’ report, CFC officials have been at pains to prevent anyone from taking responsibility for the Club’s grave cultural failures,” Lumumba’s statement read.

“I have been trying to close this chapter since 2017, but repeated dishonesty, misconduct and the refusal of past and present CFC figures to admit simple facts has prolonged it.

“With less than two weeks until I become a father again, closing this chapter and releasing this burden has come at the perfect time.”

AFLW August start date confirmed as league announces mega pay raise

After months of speculation, it has been officially confirmed that the AFLW will begin its next season in August of this year.

The league announced Thursday afternoon that the season will start between August 25 and 27, with official dates and games to be confirmed.

The Grand Finals weekend will be November 25-27.

It will consist of a 10-week back-and-forth season and four weeks of finals, despite players calling for an extended season due to the inclusion of four new teams, bringing the competition to 18 clubs.

Due to this impasse, the current agreement will last only one year before a new Collective Bargaining Agreement needs to be signed.

In addition, the league also confirmed a salary increase of more than 90 percent for AFLW players.

Under the new deal, top-tier players, of which there are mostly two at each club, will be paid $71,935, up from $37,155 last season from January to April this year.

Level two player salaries increase from $28,697 to $55,559, level three players from $24,468 to $47,372; while the lowest paid segment will skyrocket from $20,239 to $39,184.

Having heavily negotiated to increase player payouts to allow further professionalization of the code, it is believed that the next CBA will revolve around the length of the season and result in a full 18-round competition beginning in 2026.

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