AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) wishes to advise the Southern Districts Football Club (SDFC) has been found to have played an ineligible player in the following 2017/18 TIO NTFL games:
- Round 1 Men’s Division 1 match against the Darwin Buffaloes Football Club,
- Round 4 Men’s Division 1 match against the Nightcliff Football Club, and
- Round 5 Men’s Premier League match against the Darwin Buffaloes Football Club
In accordance with AFLNT Rules & Regulations, Section 5.5.1, "a club which permits an unregistered, overage or ineligible player to participate in a match will be deemed to have forfeited that match".
Though self-reported by SDFC, an investigation by AFLNT found that player Blake Piggott had played in the above games without a transfer from Eaton Boomers FC in the South West Football League.
As a result, the SDFC has now been deemed to have forfeited the above-mentioned matches.
The results for each of these matches will be adjusted to show a forfeit with the scores calculated as a 60-point to 0-point loss to SDFC. Further to this, player Piggott will be removed from the respective team sheets.
The game results and respective Men’s Premier League and Men’s Division 1 ladders will be updated tomorrow to reflect the change.
AFLNT Manager of Community Football Russell Jeffrey said he admired SDFC’s courage in reporting the mishap themselves, but the rules didn’t leave room for leniency.
“The Footy Operations department have checks and balances in place, and so it was likely we would’ve picked up on the irregularity in due course, but with Southern Districts reporting the issue themselves, it allows us to rectify it before more games had been impacted.
“I thank David Sanderson and his team at the Crocs for being forthright, and though it’s not a pleasant place for either of us to be in I am sure they will be able to pick back up where they left off and let their football do the talking.
“It is imperative for insurance reasons, eligibility and fairness of the competition that players coming to the NT or moving between leagues and clubs are correctly registered, and that responsibility remains with the Club they wish to play for,” he said.