West Coast coach Adam Simpson was none too pleased with two of his stars making the trip to Melbourne for Thursday’s All Australian function.
Josh Kennedy and Jeremy McGovern were both included in the All Australian team, while Kennedy was presented with the Coleman medal at the event.
Kennedy and McGovern both missed training to attend the ceremony.
“He (Simpson) is probably just not happy because we fly a fair bit during the year and we’ve chucked an extra flight in when we probably didn’t have to,” Kennedy told the Seven Network.
“With the finals series as well, if we keep pushing forward we’ve got to fly a bit. It’s probably not ideal, but it is what it is.”
The league introduced a pre-finals bye this season, hoping it would allow players based outside Victoria to attend the All Australian event.
In previous years most clubs involved in finals have refused to let stars attend the Brownlow count, All Australian function and other award nights.
“Yes, of course,” Simpson said, when asked if he’d prefer Kennedy and McGovern stayed in Perth.
“But we also respect the award and the recognition and the demands.”
McGovern was one of nine stars to earn All-Australian honours for the first time.
Sydney’s Luke Parker and Dane Rampe, Adelaide on-baller Rory Sloane, Richmond gun Dustin Martin, Western Bulldogs whizzkid Marcus Bontempelli, Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn, Gold Coast forward Tom Lynch and GWS’s Toby Greene were the other debutants.
Joel Selwood was named All Australian skipper for the third time, leaving Wayne Carey as the only player to have received that honour more than the Geelong captain.
“It’s changed a lot. I was fortunate enough in my younger years that I was surrounded by a lot of players that could have done the job at the time too,” Selwood said of his leadership approach over the past five years.
Meanwhile, McGovern delivered one of the most memorable moments of the night by detailing how he recently celebrated catching an elusive red emperor.
“I don’t know if it is a ritual – but it is now. When you catch it you’ve got to pull the heart out and eat the heart while it’s still beating,” the defender said on stage.
“So if anyone ever catches one, make sure you do it.”