Sydney Swans defender Zak Jones will miss Friday night’s clash with Essendon after accepting a one-week suspension from the Match Review Panel.
Jones, who was charged with striking Richmond’s Dan Butler in the third quarter of Saturday’s match, faced two weeks on the sidelines if the Club unsuccessfully challenged.
Swans Head of Football Tom Harley says it’s unfortunate to be without Jones for Friday’s game.
"Zak had a striking charge laid against him from the game against Richmond; it was intentional, high contact, low impact which equates to a game,” Harley explained.
“It was off the ball so to argue down one of the classifications was challenging, and even if we were to do that successfully, it would be his third minor offence which equates to a game (suspension).
“It’s disappointing for Zak and disappointing for the Club. He’s been an important player for us, so he’ll miss this week with suspension and he’ll train hard and come back into the side next week.”
Fortunately, there are a number of players biding their time in the NEAFL who are ready and raring to go, if selected, to replace the in-form Jones who has averaged 21 disposals a game this season.
Young defender Lewis Melican, who lost his place in the senior team last week, was influential in the NEAFL as were fellow defenders Aliir Aliir, Jeremy Laidler and Shaun Edwards.
Up and coming duo Oliver Florent and Jordan Dawson have also been playing consistently well.
Harley said there are quite a few options for Match Committee this week.
“The NEAFL have been playing really well and that’s always a good sign of the health of your list and the form of the players coming through,” Harley said.
“We feel like we’ve got a number of options to replace Zak.”
Meanwhile, the Club has also accepted the $1000 fine handed down to Lance Franklin for engaging in rough conduct during the second quarter on Saturday.