Collingwood Star Steele Sidebottom Defends Maynard, Discusses Team Dynamics Amid AFL Tribunal Decision


Experienced athlete Steele Sidebottom of the Collingwood team offers his perspective on the potential suspension of his fellow player, Brayden Maynard, which could potentially end his play in the finals. Maynard faces the Tribunal of the Australian Football League (AFL) on Tuesday evening, following a collision on the field with Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw. Sidebottom conveys the profound concern brewing in the heart of his club for the welfare of Brayshaw, who already has a shaky history with concussions that have threatened to curtail his career prior to this incident at the MCG.

Despite this, Sidebottom maintains that it is challenging, if not impossible, to prevent some accidental clashes on the football field. He affirms Maynard’s defensive manoeuvre, wherein Maynard propelled himself skywards to hinder Brayshaw’s kick, ensuing in an unfortunate collision en route downward. Sidebottom goes on to illustrate the dynamics of the play, which unfolds at a rapid pace and in all directions on the field, rendering it difficult to avoid such mishaps. Sidebottom underscores that while regrettable, accidents are par for the course in their chosen sport.

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In defense of his teammate, Sidebottom declares Maynard as a player who adheres to the rules of fair play. He interprets the outcome of the collision as a subject of misfortune, amidst heated debates regarding whether suspension is warranted for the defender. Sidebottom, who dons the hat of a 307-game veteran, asserts that no player in his team would be perturbed enough to modify their game style due to Maynard’s possibly impending three-match suspension and consequent absence from the finals.

On the topic of recoveries, Sidebottom, still feeling the aftermath of the game, admits to the discomfort due to the intense pressure of the finals. He considers the extra week of rest before the preliminary final, a boon for the entire team. Sidebottom reveals that Nick Daicos, the emerging talent, stands to gain the most from this pause as he attempts to return post a knee injury.

He narrates that Daicos’ recovery is progressing steadily, and he is expected to compete in the preliminary final against the victor of the Port Adelaide and GWS face-off. Sidebottom conveys the team’s trust in the professionalism of Daicos and the capable handlers at the football club, who have his best interests at heart. Despite indicating that Daicos would only participate if he were in optimal health, he values the additional week that now allows him time to prepare well.