Footballer given boot for attack
A BUNDABERG football player has been handed the maximum penalty by a match review committee for an ugly incident during the reserve grade grand final this month.
Josh Masters from Across the Waves has been suspended from playing in Bundaberg for two years for a violent attack on the North Bundaberg goalkeeper in the grand final, which was won by North Bundaberg.
Football Bundaberg president Greg Bath said the judiciary sought the maximum penalty under Football Queensland guidelines because of the violent nature of the offence.
“It was a very unusual event and it was something both teams were quite shocked about,” Bath said.
The incident occurred during the grand final of the reserve grade competition.
According to witnesses at the ground, Masters punched North Bundaberg goalkeeper Craig Clarke then attacked the player while he was on the ground.
Yesterday Clarke's father Ian, the president of North Bundaberg Football Club, said he supported Football Bundaberg's decision to give Masters the maximum punishment.
On top of the two-year suspension, the Across the Waves player will be banned from attending any football matches in Bundaberg and placed on a good behaviour bond.
“As someone who is involved in football and has been for a long time and as a parent, I am still struggling to understand the incident,” Clarke said.
“I don't know why he did it.”
Clarke received medical assistance on the field after the incident and was able to return to the action as North Bundaberg won the match.
Masters was red-carded and a referee filled out an incident report that night.
Bath said the ban sent a clear message to players who used excessive violence.
Clarke said he was glad Football Bundaberg had used the maximum sentence allowed by the Football Federation Australia.
Bath said Across the Waves would not be reprimanded over the incident.
“In no way did the player's club play any part in this,” Bath said.
“Players (from ATW) during the game and after the game were apologetic to the player.
“They were quite shocked at what had happened.”