Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has questioned whether Collingwood counterpart Nathan Buckley would let the Lin Jong AFL controversy happen again.
The Bulldogs are fuming after news broke during the week that Collingwood had given Jong a mid-season tour of their facilities.
Jong comes out of contract at the end of the season.
Beveridge blasted the Magpies and Jong’s management after Saturday night’s narrow win over Richmond, saying the mid-season tour was a bad look.
Buckley called Beveridge after the story broke, but the Magpies coach was also adamant he would do it again.
Beveridge is not so sure that is the case.
“I know Nathan said if he had his time over, he’d do it again, but I don’t think he would,” Beveridge said.
“Ultimately if our list manager Jason McCartney came to me – which he wouldn’t – and said ‘hey, let’s meet a player at Whitten Oval’, I’d say ‘hang on mate, we’re keen to talk to him, but it’s too risky to do it here’.
“So maybe Nathan has been led up the wrong path as well there, because he’s assertive enough and mature enough to make a better decision than that.”
Jong kicked the opening behind of Saturday night’s narrow win over Richmond.
He had 13 possessions in a quiet game.
Beveridge said people around Jong had let him down and added the player’s management had apologised to the club.
While the Bulldogs coach said clubs obviously speak to rival players during the season, he took aim at the Magpies.
“The ‘Pies have so much going for them, but they were anxious to get him in to see their facility,” Beveridge said.
“We didn’t have an issue with why and what was going on, even though normally we wouldn’t know about it.
“It was just where and the timing of it – if you’re going to do it, do it at the end of the year.”
Beveridge said it had been a tough week for Jong.
“It was a very different week (for him),” the Bulldogs coach said.
“As you know, Jongy is a required player.
“We sort-of made light of it and we felt for him, actually, because they’d put him in a difficult situation.
“It shouldn’t have gotten out – but it shouldn’t have happened.
“If they’re going to talk to him, just talk to him somewhere else.”