Waratahs coaches to appeal 12-month bans for discrimination and intimidation

TWO Waratahs Football Club coaches will appeal 12-month bans handed to them by Bathurst District Football (BDF) last week - if they get the chance.

Brad Apps and John Turner, Waratahs' A grade and B grade women’s coaches respectively, were slapped with year-long suspensions following alleged discriminatory and intimidating behaviour in a BDF women's A grade match against Orange Ex-Services in May.

After a judicial hearing on Friday, June 13, the pair was officially given the year-long bans via a BDF judiciary notice, dated June 18.

However Waratahs president Darren Sinclair said as late as 2.30pm on Friday neither the club nor the two coaches had received any notification of the decision.

According to the judiciary report, Waratahs had 14 days to lodge an appeal with Western NSW Football. 

That date, July 2, has been and gone.

Sinclair said he assumed Apps and Turner would be given the chance to appeal considering the circumstances.

"We're very disappointed with the result, and not to have received notice," Sinclair said.

"We made the decision a while ago that whatever the decision, we would appeal it. The [deadline] has been and gone, but we will definitely appeal it if we get the chance."

According to the BDF's judiciary report, the pair was found guilty of "breaching the coaches' code of conduct, misconduct under the terms of clause 11 of the BDFA playing rules, section 5.3 (anti-discrimination and harassment clause) and section seven of the National Member Protection Policy and had brought the game into disrepute.

Apps' comments were allegedly made toward a 19-year-old Ex-Services player, regarding the legality of her throw-in style. The player has an ulna deficiency, causing her left arm to be slightly shorter than her right.

Turner's behaviour was directed at Ex-Services' coach Richard Gathercole's son, who had sworn at, and confronted the Waratahs pair regarding their behaviour.

The judiciary noted Turner had received a penalty for an abuse charge in the past.

"As a judiciary we found the evidence sufficient enough to hand down that sentence," BDF vice-president and judiciary chair Michael O'Connor said.

"We had never dealt with a situation like this before, so we had another meeting the Monday following (June 15) to clarify a lot of the statements and witnesses' comments. 

"We had everything recorded of course, and we also contacted the FFA (Football Federation Australia) to get the guidelines surrounding such an offence."

Gathercole said he and his team were satisfied with the result.

"Under the circumstances we think a 12-month suspension is appropriate," he said.

"The process has disrupted the team somewhat and we're quite relieved a decision was made. We are slightly anxious about the appeal process but that is out of our control."

No Ex-Services player, official or supporter was charged, or reprimanded.

Turner and Apps could not be contacted for comment. 

O'Connor could not be contacted regarding Waratahs' process of appeal.

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