Seven partying Eagles fined by AFL club

·3-min read

The identities of all seven of West Coast's rule-breaking party boys have been revealed, but the AFL Players Association has condemned the $5000 fines handed down by the club.

The COVID-hit Eagles were left fuming after defenders Jackson Nelson and Josh Rotham were photographed partying at a Perth nightclub only a day after West Coast suffered a humiliating 109-point loss at home to Richmond in round seven.

The club had prohibited players from attending nightclubs during the peak of WA's COVID-19 outbreak.

It was later revealed Jake Waterman, Campbell Chesser and Rhett Bazo had also attended the Leederville nightclub, but the identities of the remaining two players weren't known until West Coast released a statement on Monday afternoon.

Former Docker Hugh Dixon and ex-Tigers midfielder Patrick Naish were named and shamed by the Eagles.

West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett said in normal circumstances the players would have received a one-week suspension

But given the club's dire player availability after been ravaged by injuries and COVID, West Coast have instead fined each player $5000, with half of that amount suspended.

"Given the club's protocols and current circumstances it was irresponsible and disrespectful for those players to attend a nightclub," Nisbett said.

"After completing our investigation, we have decided to fine each of the players who broke specific club and player guidelines.

"We will continue to educate our players and those who transgressed will now need to regain the trust and respect of their teammates as well as everyone else at the club."

The AFLPA believes West Coast made the wrong move by punishing the players.

"While we empathise with the challenges currently facing the WA-based teams, we do not support rules prohibiting players from entering venues, nor the sanctions imposed," AFLPA general manager of player and stakeholder relations, Brett Murphy said.

"Over the past three seasons, AFL players have gone above and beyond to enable the competition to continue despite the challenges caused by the pandemic.

"Among other things, players have been required to relocate, at short notice and on several occasions, and have lived by restrictions which have gone beyond those imposed on other members of society.

"However, with the community now seeking to live with COVID-19, the industry has made the decision to move away from these rules and to allow players to live balanced lives."

The AFLPA say they will continue discussions with the players and West Coast about the situation.

Rotham, Waterman and Naish played in Saturday night's 75-point loss to Brisbane at the Gabba, while Dixon was surprisingly dropped despite West Coast needing to use two WAFL top-up players for the match.

Nelson was one of eight West Coast players who entered the health and safety protocols last week, while first-round draft pick Chesser is on the inactive list after suffering a serious ankle injury.

Nisbett hoped the players involved would learn from their mistakes, saying they were ashamed and embarrassed.

West Coast sit bottom of the ladder at 1-7 with a percentage of 52 and could add a second wooden spoon to their last-place finish from 2010.

The Eagles will be back in action on Sunday, hosting premiers Melbourne.

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