'Need to fix it': AFL under fire over 'horrific' Anzac Day move

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Scott Pendlebury and Dyson Heppell, pictured here in their Anzac Day strips.
Scott Pendlebury and Dyson Heppell pose for a photo in their Anzac Day strips. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

AFL great Nick Riewoldt has shredded league bosses over a "horrific" guernsey clash for Essendon's traditional Anzac Day match against Collingwood.

Collingwood and Essendon will do battle at the MCG on Anzac Day in front of what could be the biggest crowd in the world since the COVID pandemic.

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However there are fears that fans might be confused between the two sides after the Magpies and Bombers unveiled their Anzac Day guernseys on Monday.

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Essendon's guernsey features red poppies on a black background, while Collingwood’s is mostly black with white stripes featuring rosemary sticks.

But speaking on Fox Footy on Monday night, Riewoldt described the similarities between the two strips as "horrific".

“Flagging this on a Monday so we can fix it – we’ve got time to fix it,” he said.

“This is a horrific jumper clash, and it‘s going to be hard to tell the teams apart.

“It’s Monday – find a way, because we can’t have them rolling up (like that).”

The Last Post, pictured here being played at an AFL match on Anzac Day.
The Last Post is played at an AFL match on Anzac Day. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

However Melbourne Demons great Garry Lyon was doubtful that the clash would be rectified.

“They’ve got no time to fix it. They’re not going to make new jumpers,” he said.

“I love it but they won’t do it.”

Collingwood will reportedly wear white shorts to break up the clash, with Essendon remaining in their traditional black.

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Collingwood cop huge fan for in-game phone use

Meanwhile, Collingwood have been hit with a $20,000 fine after injured Magpies Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe were caught breaking AFL rules by using their phones during a game.

The club had received a "please explain" after De Goey picked up two phones and gave one to Howe when the 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.

Despite the players' error, the club is expected to foot the bill rather than make De Goey and Howe pay for it.

After an investigation in which De Goey and Howe were found to have contacted family members about their injuries, the AFL came down hard on the Magpies.

"The rules, which have been in place for a long time to protect the integrity of our code, clearly state no mobile phone usage during the match. It is a rule that clubs and players have been educated about and reminded of every year," AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said.

"Each club has authorised device users each match day that are there, in part, for the very reason the players used their phones - to contact family members if required.

"The players know this, the clubs know this and we must adhere to this very simple but important rule to continue to protect the integrity of the game."

"The AFL would also like to acknowledge Collingwood's cooperation with its inquiries and remind all clubs of their responsibility."

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley claimed De Goey did not deliberately break the rules but was simply "not thinking straight".

The dynamic forward will miss at least 12 days to comply with the AFL's concussion protocols and sit out the Anzac Day clash with Essendon.

"The bloke we're talking about who grabbed the phones had just been omitted from the game for concussion," Buckley told Fox Footy's AFL 360.

"We're understaffed at the moment after COVID (job cuts) so most of our (staff) were hands on deck.

"We had a couple of injured players and the bloke that grabbed the phones wasn't deemed well enough to continue playing a game of footy due to a knock to the head."

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