The AFL has decided not to challenge Brayden Maynard’s not guilty tribunal sentence, confirming the defender will be free in Collingwood’s preliminary final next week.
It comes after a marathon four-hour tribunal hearing on Tuesday night where Maynard was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing for his hit that concussed Demon Angus Brayshaw.
The AFL, as per tribunal guidelines, had to make a decision on whether it would appeal the verdicy by midday on Wednesday.
“The AFL has confirmed that after careful consideration and review of the Tribunal’s decision and reasons following last night’s hearing into the incident involving Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard and Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw, the AFL has decided not to appeal the Tribunal’s decision,” a league statement read.
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The league indicated it would release a more detailed statement later on Wednesday.
Maynard on Tuesday night pleaded not guilty to rough conduct and not guilty to careless conduct.
The AFL, through legal rep Andrew Woods, on Tuesday night said Mayanrd’s conduct was unreasonable in the circumstances and that he could’ve jumped more upright as opposed to horizontal.
Giving evidence, Maynatd said he genuinely attempted to smother the ball and was not expecting Brayshaw to move inward after disposing of the ball. He said what he did was a “football act” and that he had no alternative.
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Collingwood, in addition to Maynard’s evidence, relied on evidence from biomechanist Michael Cole, who said Maynard had no opportunity to avoid the collision once airborne.
After a lengthy deliberation period, the tribunal found Maynard had no case to answer on all fronts and was free to play in Collingwood’s preliminary final.
Pies football boss Graham Wright said Maynard was “really pleased” but added the club’s thoughts remained with Brayshaw.
“Although we’re really pleased with the tribunal hearing, our thoughts go to Angus first and foremost and we’re hoping he makes a speedy recovery and he’s back playing,” he told reporters.
“It’s been a long four or five days for everyone and he’s another one who’s really concerned about Angus and wants to make sure he’s OK.”
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