Terang-Mortlake leader Chris Bant will have a delayed start to next season after being found guilty of unbecoming conduct towards Koroit key forward Jarrod Korewha.
Bant was handed a three-match suspension by the Hampden football league’s independent tribunal on Tuesday night.
The Bloods assistant coach pleaded not guilty to the charge, which was laid after the Saints requested an investigation into an incident during their round 17 loss to Terang Mortlake.
The young forward was stretchered from Mortlake’s D.C Farran Oval and taken to hospital by ambulance. He also missed the round 18 clash against Warrnambool.
Korewha told the tribunal hearing in Warrnambool that he braced for a hip and shoulder from Bant.
He said felt an elbow to the right side of his face before blacking out after the incident in the third quarter.
The league’s leading goal kicker said he felt side effects, such as headaches, eating and sleeping difficulties, for a week after he suffered concussion and a cut to the inside of his mouth.
Bant admitted he got him high but denied he used a raised elbow. He said Korewha had shifted his running path to block him from chasing his direct opponent, Damian O’Connor.
Independent tribunal chairman Terry O’Keefe said there was a plausible conclusion that Bant had struck Korweha in the head.
“It was an unnecessary action that had the possibility to have very serious consequences,” he said.