Essendon manager Ben Rutton has defended Bomber Dylan Shiel under fire, saying Sydney’s Luke Parker sledding for the midfielder on Saturday night reflected poorly on the club as a whole. Parker’s teasing for Shiel has been a hot topic all week, with former Bombers great Matthew Lloyd infamously saying he wished Shiel had “pierced through” Parker after being “disrespected.”

However, speaking on Thursday morning, Rutten said it was up to the entire club to improve and develop a “tougher lead”, after putting up just 30 tackles against the Swans. “We haven’t played the hard edge that we need on a consistent basis throughout the season and Sydney was a game where we were way below par,” the coach said on Thursday morning.

“This is not about Dylan Shiel, this is about all of us as a football club.

“I don’t think the vision [of Parker’s taunt] It was a reflection of the moment, it was a reflection of us as a club during that game. It was a reflection of us as a club during the match”. After Captain Dyson Heppell told Fox Footy’s On the couch On Monday night, the Parker incident had not been discussed at the club, Rutten said now all the players have seen the vision, leading to what he described as “some really honest reflections”. Finding a way forward, Rutten said the standard had been set by young Jye Caldwell’s courageous collision with Swan Tom McCartin, with a host of teammates led by Andrew McGrath defending the injured 21-year-old.

“We have to defend each other. That’s pretty clear. I thought Andy McGrath, after the Jye Caldwell incident, that’s the level we expect from our players,” Rutte said.

“I thought it was fantastic leadership, I thought it was a sign of someone who really cares about the football club and wants to make a difference. “That’s the quality of person that Andy McGrath is and that’s what we need to see more of. The players are clear about it.” Caldwell still has a chance to take on Richmond at this weekend’s annual Dreamtime Clash ‘G, despite suffering a shoulder injury in the collision, while Rutten confirmed Shiel will not be eliminated despite calls. speculations.

“Dylan is hurt like a lot of our players right now by the way we are playing. That’s the bottom line,” Rutten said.

“We support Dylan where we can, making sure he has very clear expectations as we do with all of our players.

“Dylan is a great person, he adds a lot to our football club and he adds a lot to us on the pitch.”

While Rutten has been under fire for much of the season after leading the Bombers to the finals in his first year in charge in 2021, he said he welcomes the challenge of proving himself as a coach.

“For me it is a great opportunity to lead the football club and the leadership that is required is what I am looking for,” he said.

Lumumba releases more secret Buckley recordings

Heritier Lumumba has released another round of recordings of conversations with former Collingwood manager Nathan Buckley, but the former Magpie has said it will be his last public comment on the bitter feud between the player and the club.

Lumumba took to Twitter to post audio snippets purportedly featuring conversations with Buckley and then-Magpies roster manager Derek Hine, which he claims proves he was forced to leave the club by the manager.

“In response to Nathan Buckley’s false claim last week that he had asked to be moved from CFC, I am providing this recording to make it clear that I was kicked out of the club. They made it clear that they had made their decision and that my only option was to withdraw or be traded,” Lumumba wrote alongside the recording.

“It became clear to me that my decision to challenge the Club’s culture would simply not be tolerated.”

Lumumba claims the two recordings will be his last public comment on his clash with the Magpies, in which he has attempted to go public with issues with the club’s ‘disgusting’ culture and alleged history of racism while playing there.

The 35-year-old has reportedly already cut off communications with the club, expressing frustration at what he describes as their refusal to make a meaningful change despite the ‘Do Better’ report’s recommendations.

“Since the release of the ‘Do Better’ report, CFC officials have been at pains to prevent anyone from taking responsibility for the Club’s grave cultural failures,” Lumumba’s statement read.

“I have been trying to close this chapter since 2017, but repeated dishonesty, misconduct and the refusal of past and present CFC figures to admit simple facts has prolonged this.

“With less than two weeks to become a father again, closing this chapter and releasing this burden has come at the perfect time.”

It gives me a great sense of peace and satisfaction to close this chapter and walk away with confidence that I have taken this problem as far as it has.

AFL set to announce massive AFLW pay raise

AFLW players will receive a significant pay raise on a one-year deal with the AFL, ending months of behind-the-scenes negotiations.

According Ageplayers will now receive a minimum of $39,000 per season, with featured players categorized as ‘tier 1′ earning around $71,000, an increase across all tiers of more than 90 percent.

Previously, featured players, of which most teams have between one and two, were paid around $37,155 per season, while players were paid as little as $20,239.

Due to a disagreement between the league and the players over the length of the AFLW season, which currently has 10 games plus finals, the deal is for only one year. Despite the players’ request to have an extended season, with the competition expanding to 18 teams, the AFL was reportedly unwilling to secure more than 10.

While the next season of AFLW has yet to be confirmed, it is expected to start in August of this year and feature a four-week finals series, up from three in the most recent season.

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