Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley claims Jordan De Goey’s concussion caused the Magpies star to inadvertently access his phone during an AFL game. The club has received a “please explain” after De Goey was caught on camera picking up two phones and giving one to teammate Jeremy Howe when the injured pair were in the change rooms during Friday night’s loss to West Coast.
AFL rules bar players from using their phones during games due to integrity concerns, with only 10 people per club allowed to access them. Buckley claimed De Goey did not deliberately break the rules but was simply “not thinking straight”. The dynamic forward will miss at least 12 days to comply with the AFL’s concussion protocols and sit out the Anzac Day clash with Essendon.
“The bloke we’re talking about who grabbed the phones had just been omitted from the game for concussion,” Buckley told Fox Footy’s AFL 360. “We’re understaffed at the moment after Covid [job cuts] so most of our [staff] were hands on deck. We had a couple of injured players and the bloke that grabbed the phones wasn’t deemed well enough to continue playing a game of footy due to a knock to the head.”
The 27-point defeat to the Eagles at Optus Stadium left Collingwood at 1-4 with pressure mounting on Buckley, who is in his 10th season as coach. One of the greatest players in the club’s history, Buckley said he was determined to lead the Magpies out of their current predicament.
“I have a great passion for the club, I have a great passion for helping young men make their way through it, and we’ve been challenged quite a bit on and off the field as an organisation,” Buckley said. “You look at our win-loss right now, we’re 1-4; I’m accountable to that, I take responsibility to that, but I also don’t think it’s dire.”