Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has attacked AFL rivals Collingwood over the Lin Jong controversy, saying this week’s club tour should never have happened.
Beveridge also questioned whether Magpies coach Nathan Buckley would let it happen again.
It was revealed during the week that Collingwood had given Jong a mid-season tour of their club facilities.
Jong, who is out of contract at the end of the season, 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.
The Bulldogs coach also 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.”
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.
“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.”
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.”