Aker: It's about time

Hoppers coach Jason Akermanis says "player safety is paramount".
Hoppers coach Jason Akermanis says "player safety is paramount".

NORTH Albury coach Jason Akermanis applauded the Ovens and Murray’s controversial new video review system after three reports were laid yesterday.

Yarrawonga star Marcus McMillan and Wodonga pair Sam Wortmann and Ryan Cannon will face the tribunal tonight after being cited by the league’s match review panel for weekend incidents.

Akermanis, who has regularly pushed for the league to tidy up its act, said yesterday’s findings were a step in the right direction in the bid to stamp out violence on the field.

“I am glad to see the league is not going to tolerate it and wants to clean things up,” Akermanis said.

“Player safety is paramount and I will never apologise for trying to make the game safe.

“We want tough and hard footy, but fair footy, as well.

“I was absolutely staggered at the lack of reports last year, considering there were some pretty reckless things happen.

“The example is set now that you can’t do it any more, and if you do, you’ll miss games. That can only be a good thing.”

Wortmann and Cannon were booked for alleged rough conduct on North Albury duo David Miles and Rory Feltwell in separate incidents during the Hoppers’ 42-point win over the Bulldogs on Saturday.

McMillan, who won Yarrawonga’s best and fairest in 2012, was cited for striking Wangaratta midfielder Matt Kelly in Sunday’s 119-point thrashing of the Pies.

“There were a couple of dangerous incidents in our game,” Akermanis said.

“But it doesn’t matter who it is.

“I’ve always told our players that they will get no sympathy from me if they do it.”

Wodonga Raiders enforcer Michael Steven is also up on a striking charge after being sent-off in Saturday’s 10-point loss to Corowa-Rutherglen.

He was offered a one-week ban but has opted to clear his name in front of the tribunal.

The Ovens and Murray reintroduced video reviews this season.

Clubs and umpires can now ask the league to review video footage of an incident from the weekend, with an independent match-review panel deciding whether or not that player has a case to answer.

When a club refers an incident to the league, both the senior coach and president of that club must sign off on the report.