David Koch denied entry into South Australia for AFL prelim final

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·Sports Reporter
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Sunrise host and Port Adelaide chairman David Koch has been denied entry to South Australia for the Power's preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs. Picture: Channel 7
Sunrise host and Port Adelaide chairman David Koch has been denied entry to South Australia for the Power's preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs. Picture: Channel 7

Port Adelaide chairman and television host David Koch has been denied permission to enter South Australia to watch the Power's preliminary final clash against the Western Bulldogs.

The Sydney-based Koch submitted an application to enter SA two weeks ago, having been unable to skirt around border restrictions by spending two weeks in Tasmania or the Norther Territory.

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It was only on Thursday that the club president found out he would not be able to attend the match.

Club presidents from Geelong, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs are currently quarantining after arriving in Perth, in preparedness for the chance their teams win through to the season decider.

Koch is also reportedly unlikely to be allowed into Western Australia because of the situation with Sydney's Covid crisis, and has been listed as an “extreme risk” by the WA government.

The winner of Port Adelaide's clash with the Bulldogs will face off against the winner of Geelong and Melbourne at Perth's Optus Stadium.

For the first time in league history, there will be a bye between the preliminary finals and grand final.

Virus restrictions and quarantine requirements have proved to be a significant obstacle for various members of the AFL fraternity, with former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire memorably denied permission to enter Western Australia.

McGuire, who had applied for an exemption to film various TV programs in the lead-up to the grand final, was mocked by state premier Mark McGowan, who joked he was protecting the state's citizens from the controversial commentator.

AFL coach takes aim at 'unreasonable' SA training ban

While Koch's absence won't necessarily affect how Port Adelaide perform, the Bulldogs could find themselves affected by what coach Luke Beveridge described as an 'unreasonable' ban from training.

The Bulldogs are required to stay in their hotel after arriving in Adelaide from Perth later on Friday night - but their request to allow players a short captain's run has been knocked back by the memorable hard-line SA Health.

As a result, it won't be until a few hours before the game that Bulldogs players will be allowed to stretch their legs.

While Beveridge said the players would take the adversity in stride, he nonetheless criticised SA Health for their heavy-handed approach.

“We have almost a three-hour flight to South Australia, and then we are not allowed to stretch our legs and get moving again. We won’t be able to do that until we maybe go for a walk at lunchtime the next day," Beveridge said.

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge took a swipe at South Australian health officials after the team were not allowed to go for a run after arriving in Adelaide from Perth on Friday. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge took a swipe at South Australian health officials after the team were not allowed to go for a run after arriving in Adelaide from Perth on Friday. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“It’s a different preparation, a different lead-in but, like any other time, our players will just suck it up and move on and have dealt with what they can control, but that is not ideal. 

"After we get tested again tonight, that will be our 14th COVID test in 25 days. I am pretty sure we are negative. It is a real strange one for us.”

In good news for the Bulldogs, superstar Marcus Bontempelli has been named to play despite picking up a knee complaint in the semi-final win over Brisbane.

"He might have a little bit of an ache, or a dull pain in there going into the game," Beveridge said.

If there was any risk at all that he could re-injure it without anything happening then we definitely wouldn't be playing him.

"His health and his long-term future is the No.1 priority, regardless of how big a final it is.

"He'll move around like nothing has happened."

Beveridge joked there could be some "retribution" if Port players try to target Bontempelli.

With AAP

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