Railton defends handling of report on MacDonald

By Southern Riverina News

Picola & District Football Netball League operations manager Shane Railton has denied any wrong-doing in the tribunal case of Blighty player Lachie MacDonald.

The saga began after the Redeyes’ defender was reported for alleged striking against Katunga in round eight of the season.

A newspaper article on June 28 stated that: ‘‘The PDFNL made the decision to re-trial MacDonald after an incident in their round eight clash against Katunga, where the Redeye was reported for alleged striking.’’

This information was incorrect, as the case wasn’t heard at tribunal after the incident as it was withdrawn by the umpires’ advocate with a follow-up trial done following a suggestion from AFL Victoria.

‘‘Lachie MacDonald was not cleared at a tribunal the week following the incident, the report was withdrawn by the umpires’ advocate,’’ Railton said.

‘‘The case was never heard at that point by the tribunal.

‘‘The PDFNL did not make the decision to re-trial MacDonald, the league sought an investigation into the incident at the suggestion of AFL Vic which was done independently by an AFL Vic authorised investigation officer.’’

Comments were also made by Blighty playing-coach Jack Tyndall in the previous article, which read as follows:

‘‘He (MacDonald) was cleared at the tribunal the week following the incident.

‘‘The league sent someone to investigate the incident at the Berrigan game where an official bailed him up when we were in the changerooms preparing for the game.’’

Railton confirmed that while MacDonald was approached before the game against Berrigan, it was done by an AFL Victoria official and not a PDFL representative.

‘‘The league did not send someone to Berrigan to investigate the incident, the league had no prior knowledge of the investigator attending the Berrigan v Blighty match,’’ he said.

‘‘However as I was at the match, I can testify that the investigator was in attendance and talking to the Blighty president (Michael Norman) at the commencement of the reserves game and it was made clear that Blighty was aware prior that the investigation officer would be attending for the purpose of interviewing Lachie.’’

Blighty president Michael Norman confirmed the club had prior knowledge of the interview.

‘‘AFL Victoria told me that the investigator was coming before the Saturday,’’ he said.

‘‘It wasn’t an ideal time as we were trying to prepare for our game, but I guess it would’ve been hard to track him down any other time.

‘‘I said to Lachie that it was probably best to just speak to him and get it out of the way.

‘‘I’m just hopeful that this issue has been resolved now and we can all move on.’’