'Not happy': Taylor Walker in hot water with AFL over Trent Cotchin claim

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·Sports Reporter
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Adelaide Crows veteran Taylor Walker has left the AFL fuming after suggesting Trent Cotchin got off lightly for kicking him during last weekend's match. Pictures: Getty Images
Adelaide Crows veteran Taylor Walker has left the AFL fuming after suggesting Trent Cotchin got off lightly for kicking him during last weekend's match. Pictures: Getty Images

Adelaide Crows forward Taylor Walker has left some AFL figures privately fuming after criticising the punishment handed down over Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin's attempt to kick him.

Cotchin was fined $2000 by the Match Review Officer for attempting to kick Walker's outstretched leg as both players tumbled over the boundary line durng last Saturday's contest.

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The Tigers' campaign stands at a crossroads after an injury hit start to the season has left them with just two wins from five starts - however an irritated Walker believes Cotchin's punishment ought to have been more severe.

Walker, who recently returned from a six-week ban dating back to last season over a racist comment while spectating a SANFL match, took to Triple M radio to blast what he felt was a double standard.

The 31-year-old said things would be different if it were he who lashed out at Cotchin, believing his punishment should have been more harsh.

“Especially when it’s deliberate,” Walker said.

“I tell you what, if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have been missing the next month.”

The outspoken comments have reportedly left league officials fuming.

According to Herald Sun reporter Sam McClure, Walker's words dismissing the punishment that was handed down to Cotchin have left several within the AFL unhappy.

“It’s my understanding that the AFL are not happy and are looking into those comments,” McClure told 3AW.

“He’s essentially questioning the integrity of the Match Review Officer. I think it’ll be stronger than a please explain.

“All I can tell you is that the AFL are not happy about it.”

Cotchin was found guilty of kicking in an incident assessed as intentional contact, low impact and body contact.

The grading meant he avoided suspension and was instead fined $2000.

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The Crows have been placed in something of an awkward position in the short term after club captain Rory Sloane was ruled out for the season after rupturing his ACL last weekend.

Walker's return has coincided with some improved form from the Crows, including last weekend's impressive win over Richmond, prompting some to speculate about who the club will elevate to the leadership position.

Speaking on Monday night's episode of Footy Classified on Channel 9, veteran AFL reporter Damian Barrett admitted it was 'not ideal' for Walker to unofficially be one of the club's senior leaders in the absence of Sloane.

Taylor Walker returned for Adelaide in round four, having serves a six-week suspension for making a racist comment while spectating a state league match last year. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Taylor Walker returned for Adelaide in round four, having serves a six-week suspension for making a racist comment while spectating a state league match last year. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Nevertheless, Walker's on field performances merited some consideration according to Barrett.

“We’ve all had judgments and views and strong opinions, but he’s got the second chance,” he said.

“While Sloane is going out, it’s not ideal that Tex Walker is going to become the man, at least symbolically, it’s actually the perfect scenario for Adelaide to get through this Sloane-less period.”

However former Port Adelaide prmiership player Kane Cornes disagreed, saying that while Walker had played well, his leadership prospects were simply untenable.

“How much do they put him on the promotional stuff and how much do they put him up for the media and let him build the club?” Cornes questioned.

“I don’t know if it sits that well just right now.”

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