Podcast comments lead to coach’s sacking

Liam Durkin

OF all things to lead to the sacking of a football coach over the years, one of the more unique reasons occurred this week.

Traralgon senior coach Tim McGibney was removed from his post on Tuesday, following remarks about an opposition club and player.

Discussing a list of the Gippsland League’s top 50 players on the Low Footy IQ podcast three weeks ago, McGibney made joking remarks about one particular player from Wonthaggi listed. McGibney also called into question the rough-house tactics of the Power during its clash with Traralgon last season.

The podcast had been recently set-up with McGibney, along with two mates, talking about Gippsland football. The format of the podcast was light-hearted, with the cracking open of beer cans audible in the background.

Wonthaggi clearly did not see the funny side, and issued a formal complaint to Traralgon and the Gippsland League asking for the podcast episode, heard by 300 people, be removed.

In a statement, the Traralgon Football-Netball Club explained the advent of COVID-19 had led to the Maroons undertaking a comprehensive review of their operations.

“One of a number of changes/innovations that were identified as being important is the need to recruit a senior playing coach for season 2021,” the statement read.

“This feedback was given to the current (McGibney) non-playing senior coach and the parties agreed to have open communication regarding what that meant for the remainder of season 2020, when and if a season was had.

“Whilst the club was completing this review and feedback sessions they were notified by numerous members of the football-netball community that the coach had contributed to a local football podcast.

This contribution included the use of offensive language and negative remarks towards an opposition player and/or club.

“This behaviour has been deemed by the Traralgon Football-Netball Club to have breached points of the AFL Coaches Code of Conduct.

“Due to these breaches and the fact that the football-netball club will head into a different direction in season 2021, it was decided that the position of the 2020 senior coach is untenable and it’s in the clubs best interest for all parties that the coach was relieved of his duties effective immediately.”

McGibney wrote official letters of apology to Wonthaggi, Traralgon and the league, and also agreed to do an online course around social media.

Maroons president Kevin Foley said McGibney’s comments did not reflect the club’s social obligations to the community.

A new coach has yet to be appointed.