TERANG Mortlake spearhead Chris Bant’s immediate playing future is unclear after being ordered to front the Hampden league tribunal.
Bant, an assistant coach with the Bloods, has been charged with unbecoming conduct following a probe by AFL Victoria Country investigator Roy Baker.
Baker recommended Bant may have a case to answer after an incident in the first quarter of the Bloods’ round 11 match against North Warrnambool Eagles on June 26 at Bushfield Recreation Reserve.
The Eagles requested the investigation after former skipper Tom Batten reportedly suffered a knock to the head in the five-point loss.
Bant, who has 41 goals this season, is his team’s leading goalkicker. He is a crucial player for the fifth-placed Bloods, which are fighting with Portland, Camperdown and Hamilton Kangaroos for one of two positions in the five. Terang Mortlake, which plays eighth-placed South Warrnambool on Saturday, face second-placed Koroit in round 17 before a potential early elimination final against Camperdown in round 18.
Terang Mortlake coach Matthew Irving said the Bloods would fight to clear Bant’s name.
League chief executive officer Mike Farrow said Bant’s case would be heard by the independent tribunal tomorrow night in Warrnambool.
Instead of scheduling a marathon sitting, Farrow said two hearings would be held in separate rooms at the same time in the A. L. Lane Pavillion.
The other case involves Camperdown coach Dan Casey, who is fighting a striking charge.
Casey, who had never been reported or sent from the field before, was reported by central umpire Dale Robbins in the second quarter of Saturday’s match for allegedly striking Port Fairy’s Jaydon Stiles. Both cases will be heard from 7pm.
The league was spared a third hearing with a South Warrnambool teenager accepting a one-week set penalty suspension after being charged with engaging in a melee during Saturday’s under 18½ match against Hamilton Kangaroos at Melville Oval.
In other penalties, reigning premier Panmure will be without utility Tom Wright for this week’s match against arch rival Kolora-Noorat after accepting a one-match set penalty for striking Old Collegians’ on-baller Nathan Forth in the final quarter of Saturday’s win against the Warriors.
Meanwhile, the Hampden league yesterday announced the junior semi-finals will be played at Terang Recreation Reserve on Sunday.