CAMPERDOWN coach Dan Casey is free to play in the Magpies’ crunch game against Hamilton Kangaroos this weekend after he was cleared of striking by an independent tribunal last night.
Central umpire Dale Robbins reported Casey for striking Port Fairy’s Jaydon Stiles in the second quarter of their match at Gardens Oval on Saturday.
Casey was offered a one-match set penalty but opted to contest the charge in a bid to preserve his clean playing record.
Casey was awarded a free kick in the second term against Stiles and had a shot at goal.
He said he was disappointed after his “terrible kick” and that Stiles came to remonstrate with him and the pair bumped into each other.
Casey said he had his right hand out to fend off Stiles.
“I had an open hand to push him away,” he said. “I thought I missed him by a few centimetres.”
Casey said he was surprised when Robbins gave him a yellow card and reported him.
“I said ‘you’ve got to be joking?’,” he said.
Stiles said he walked up to Casey after his shot at goal and that the Pies coach “got him briefly” in the side of his head with a forearm.
“I went up into his face and hip and shouldered him and said ‘good kick’,” Stiles said.
“I didn’t think there was much in it (the contact) at all.”
Both Casey and witness Neville Swayne, a member of Camperdown’s match committee, said Stiles did not fall to the ground.
Robbins said Stiles did end up on the ground and that it was “an arm that hit him, just above the forearm”.
But Robbins said he was “very surprised it happened”, having umpired Casey before.
Casey and Stiles both said they shook hands after the game and that no Camperdown or Port Fairy players came to remonstrate after the incident.
Stiles did not require help from trainers and took his free kick after Casey was sent off.