The West

Footy boss hits out at league

Canning Vale Senior Football Club president Stewart Johnston has hit out at the WA Amateur Football League for its handling of an on-field incident that left his player Damian Waight with crippling injuries.

The 23-year-old former WAFL player was left paralysed after a knock to the head from a Coolbinia West Perth player during a match last month.

The WAAFL suspended the player responsible for the knock for three weeks and declared the match a draw.

Mr Johnston said these rulings provided little disincentive for players to reoffend. "They deemed it as negligent rather than reckless, but I think that is the wrong decision because he went into bump," he said.

He said Mr Waight's recovery was progressing slowly and he had taken some steps, but not on his own.

WAAFL general manager David Armstrong said an investigative tribunal found the knock was accidental.

"The tribunal made a decision that it was a reportable offence but it was just an accident," he said.

"We are both on the same page when it comes to promoting how players play the game but it's a long-term process. We are talking about a behavioural change."

The West Australian

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