WY Yung footballer Andrew Rooney was suspended for eight weeks by the East Gippsland Football Netball League independent tribunal in Bairnsdale on Tuesday.
Rooney pleaded guilty to one charge of intentionally striking Boisdale-Briagolong’s Jacob Weatherley during the first quarter of Saturday’s senior game at Boisdale.
Following the hit, Weatherley was left bleeding and convulsing until an ambulance arrived.
As it took 40 minutes until paramedics moved Weatherley from the ground, the match was abandoned.
Weatherley left hospital on Sunday, but will undergo further tests. He gave evidence at the tribunal hearing.
A police investigation has also been launched. An officer conducting a patrol of the area arrived at the ground minutes after the incident.
AFL Gippsland region general manager Travis Switzer said an eight-week suspension was a significant penalty.
“We don’t have these incidents often,” he said.
“Hopefully it’ll send a message that everyone has an obligation to play hard footy, but not intentionally strike people.
“The players have a good understanding, but it’s still a bit of a wake-up call.”
Rooney didn’t have a prior tribunal record before the incident.
Wy Yung Football-Netball Club president Peter Johnston said Rooney had an “absolutely clean” record, had apologised and would not be appealing the suspension.
STRATFORD will host Boisdale-Briagolong in round nine on Saturday.
Two points outside the top four, the Bombers should be confident heading into the match against the win-less Swans.
Ladder leader Lindenow will be aiming to bounce back after its first loss of the season with a visit to Orbost. Orbost-Snowy Rovers had a surprising win last weekend over Lucknow, but will need to dig deep to stand up to the Cats.
Paynesville and Lakes Entrance both had good wins last week, but the Seagulls should be able to get up away from home.
Having fallen from second place to fourth, Lucknow will face seventh-placed Wy Yung at home.