President hits back
Great Southern Football League president Kym Jones has hit back at the recent bad publicity surrounding the league saying the local competition is stronger than ever and is confident the GSFL can provide a healthy environment for all involved.
On Monday afternoon the GSFL issued a letter to all six member clubs outlining their intentions to prepare a penalty policy to be imposed on clubs, their supporters, players and officials if abuse continued to be levelled at umpires.
The GSFL directive comes after GSFL umpires advisor Terry Eaton last week labelled the behaviour from players, coaches and club officials in the first five rounds of the season as the worst he had seen.
Jones confirmed clubs would face disciplinary action such as fines if they ignored the directive.
“The umpires have been directed to hand out more cards and 50m penalties until players comply with instructions,” he said.
“We are confident we can provide a happy and safe environment for players, spectators and umpires.”
Jones said the letter sent to each club was aimed at helping improve player and official behaviour and also prompt the clubs to accept responsibility for their actions.
“We want the clubs to address the problem and accept the responsibility of their players and officials,” he said.
“But this is very manageable.
“There have been one or two minor issues but it is no different to any other year.”
Jones believes there is a lot to be positive about within the league, highlighted by an evenly matched league competition along with the redevelopment of Sounness Park and the Centennial Park upgrade.
“There is a lot of good things happening at the moment,” he said.
“We have five very competitive league teams, the Sharks have shown more improvement.”
Eaton said the directive issued by the league was a proactive move and clubs were now aware of their obligations in providing an appropriate environment for umpires.
“It is good that everyone is now on the same page,” he said.
Sharks defender Andy Woods fronted the GSFL tribunal last night to face a striking charge against Denmark-Walpole’s Jordan Rolt in the third quarter of Sunday’s clash.
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