Waratahs coaches successfully appeal 12-month bans for alleged discriminatory and intimidating behaviour

AFTER a drawn-out process, two Waratahs Football Club coaches handed 12-month suspensions have had the sentences thrown out on appeal.

Brad Apps and John Turner, Waratahs’ respective A and B grade women’s coaches, had year-long suspensions thrust upon them in mid-June for alleged discriminatory and intimidating behaviour during a Bathurst District Football (BDF) women’s A grade match against Orange Ex-Services.

Western Football NSW (WFNSW) heard the appeal and determined, and stated in its judiciary report, that “all BDF decisions were dismissed and the appeal upheld due to a lack of proper documentation being presented to the appellants”.

The panel then re-heard the charges laid against Apps and Turner, and found the men had served sufficient penalty since the initial suspension and were free to resume football activity.

In regard to Apps’ ban, WFNSW determined the reasoning of the BDF judiciary’s decision was not seen as accurate, and was “reliant on hearsay” and without “strong evidence from the referee report”, thus the alleged action was found unproven.

WFNSW determined Ex-Services supporter Tyler Gathercole by his comments caused John Turner to retaliate with a comment at the game, and given “the match official ... sorted the matter at the time” it was decided Turner had not brought the game into disrepute.

Upon reviewing the evidence, the panel also found Gathercole should be summoned to appear before the BDF committee for the comments that he allegedly made toward Turner.

Ex-Services coach Richard Gathercole said he was seething at the result of the appeal.

“We’re not happy, as a team or a club,” he said.

“We’re looking at our options from here.”

One of those options would be their own appeal according to WFNSW’s judiciary report “parties may accept the decision of the panel, or proceed to the Football NSW Appeals Tribunal” within seven days of receiving the decision notice (August 29).

Apps declined to comment prior to speaking with his solicitor, while Turner was unable to be contacted. Waratahs president Darren Sinclair also couldn’t be reached for comment.


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