Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew has warned his players they can’t complain if they find themselves missing AFL matches due to a bump.
Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield will sit out the Cats’ next three AFL matches after the bump on Adelaide’s Jake Kelly which left the Crow concussed and with a broken nose.
Before his AFL tribunal hearing on Tuesday, the 2016 Brownlow Medallist defended his challenge saying he was simply trying to protect himself in the collision.
While Dew won’t be telling his players whether to bump or not, he says Dangerfield’s ban has made the AFL’s position on any challenge leading to high contact crystal clear.
“We have never told people to bump, it’s just been a part of the game but it’s really clear now that if you bump, whether it’s accident or not, the head has to be protected,” Dew said.
“We certainly haven’t been telling them to bump but we’re making them aware that you run a real risk of missing footy (if you do).”
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan told media in Sydney on Thursday there was still a place for the bump but “if you hit the head, you will be accountable for that”.
Dew says while the bump may not be officially dead in the modern game, he would put it on a critically endangered list, especially when he looks back to his own playing days.
“By and large I reckon players have got the bump out of their game almost but there are still just a couple of instances,” he said.
“I’m sure if we wound back 10-15 years, it was bumps everywhere, you had to have eyes on the back of your head.
“I think the game is in a good place and it’s at a good point of protecting the head.”