'Just a slip-up': Collingwood respond to change room drama

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury, Jeremy Howe and Jordan De Goey on a mobile phone in the change rooms,
Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury says the club will accept whatever sanction the AFL hands down for the mobile phone rules breach. Pic: Getty/Fox Sports

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury has played down the mobile phone controversy surrounding teammates Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe, despite admitting that the club will accept whatever punishment the AFL deems necessary for the offence.

Injured stars De Goey and Howe sparked backlash during Friday night's loss against West Coast after footage showed them with mobile phone in the change rooms while the match was still being played.

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The Magpies received a "please explain" from the AFL after De Goey was caught on TV camera picking up two phones and giving one to Howe when the injured pair were in the change rooms during Friday night's loss to West Coast.

AFL rules bar players from using their phones during games due to integrity concerns, with only 10 people per club allowed to access them.

The league is particularly strict on the protocols in an age where betting scandals have infiltrated not just the AFL, but sports all around the world.

Pendlebury says his teammates understand the seriousness of the offence and will accept whatever sanction the AFL has in mind.

 "If we get a warning it's a little reminder but if we cop a financial sanction it's a fair warning to the whole league that we shouldn't be doing that," he told reporters on Monday.

"I'm not too sure of what those guys did - I think they just sent a text back home just letting their family know that they were okay.

"But obviously we know we're not allowed to do that and I dare say (across) the whole competition now that box will be locked right through to the end of the game."

Seen here, Jordan De Goey passes a mobile phone to Jeremy Howe in the Collingwood change rooms.
Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe were captured holding mobile phones in the change rooms during Collingwood's match against West Coast. Pic: Fox Sports

Magpies unsure how incident occurred

Pendlebury was unsure whether a change-up in staff - operations manager Nick Maxwell couldn't travel to Perth after he'd been in Brisbane the week before - had led to the phones being accessible.

"Whether that role got lost in translation or something happened there (I'm not sure) - but we know as players that you shouldn't be on them during the game and we're sort of at the mercy of what the AFL want to do," he said.

"The boys and the club have put their hands up and we'll see what happens.

"You get educated enough about it - it's just a slip-up."

The traditional Anzac Day clash with Essendon is a must-win, with pressure piling on coach Nathan Buckley and the Magpies after their one-win-from-four start to the season.

"We're just worried about playing a really good brand of footy and if we can play that good brand of footy and get some wins on the board, I know the pressure goes away off Bucks.

"But moreso than anyone, we want to do it for each other, not just for Bucks.

"I know he's a big storyline but as the whole football club we want to start playing well because it's a better environment to walk into when you're playing good footy and I feel like we're not too far away from that."

with AAP

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