I didn't punch Colli: Glory ALM coach Ruben Zadkovich
Perth Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich has categorically denied punching Giordano Colli, saying the alleged bust-up was nothing more than a collision of bodies.
The rumour mill went into a spin on Thursday when it emerged that inquiries were being made into an alleged physical altercation between Zadkovich and 22-year-old midfielder Colli at training on Tuesday.
No further action will be taken after the Professional Footballers Association and the Australian Professional Leagues were satisfied no major incident occurred.
Zadkovich fronted the media on Friday to address the situation.
"Not at all," Zadkovich replied when asked if he had punched Colli.
"It was a situation where I felt old pretty quick. Zach Duncan hurt his knee and I had to step into a five v five training game.
"I made a forward run and collided with G (Colli), and we both ended up on the ground.
"G's blocked the run and we've had a tangle of legs and we ended up on the ground. I'm not sure how from there it's gotten to this type of allegations.
"We continued on to finish the drill.
"It was a bit of a non incident. Obviously it's blown up into something more serious, which isn't nice. But in house it was an innocuous incident."
Contrary to reports, Zadkovich said there was no vision of the incident given it wasn't a tactical drill that needed filming.
It was just seven weeks ago when rumours emerged that Zadkovich had a falling out with defender Mark Beevers and forward Ryan Williams.
Zadkovich shot those rumours down at the time, and he was disappointed that more untruths have surfaced.
"I'm not sure where the rumours are starting. It's not nice. It's not a nice thing for a club to have to deal with or myself, they're pretty serious allegations," Zadkovich said.
"It's not nice to turn on the news when you're at home with the family and see those type of accusations.
"Literally we tangled, fell to the ground, got back up and finished the game.
"It's almost laughable. The allegations aren't laughable - that's my name being pulled through (the mud). It's also my player's name G Colli, and the club's reputation and brand."
Zadkovich says he has a special relationship with Colli, who is contracted until the end of next season.
"My relationship with G has been a great one," Zadkovich said.
"It's one that I treasure. I've had G as a player now for three years. He was my captain in the youth team.
"Through COVID when he was stuck on the east coast, he was eating dinner at my house in Newcastle and driving my car.
"The love is certainly there, and we'll continue building that relationship and really building hard together."
Zadkovich says he gets along well with all of his players, but that it's not possible to keep everyone happy all the time.
"Obviously you always have players that are out of favour, and some of those guys are pissed off that they're not playing," he said.
"That's very normal in this game.
"But in house, our mood and environment is first class, and it's been like that all year."