By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
IF losing the AFL North Coast grand final wasn't bad enough for the Coffs Swans, they have been dealt a double blow following the suspension of key playmaker Tristan Snow.
Cited by their grand final opponents Sawtell for a headbutting incident that went unnoticed by the umpires, Snow received a massive 10-match suspension from the league's tribunal on Tuesday night.
Both Snow and the Swans have been left reeling from the severity of the suspension and are giving serious thought about appealing against what they believe is a manifestly excessive penalty.
"We want to but I spoke to Jill Woodlock (League Registrar) after the hearing and she said the only way we can appeal is if we have fresh evidence," Swans President Steve Shelley said.
"How can you have fresh evidence when it's done off the video?
"That's the first time it's been done like that up here. It's opened up a can of worms as far as I'm concerned. Now you can go around and film every game and hand that in."
Snow wasn't present at the hearing as he was holidaying in Queensland and all he could offer for himself as a form of defence was a statutory declaration stating his side of the story.
What makes it harder for the Swans to believe the 10-match ban is that after being cited for headbutting, Snow actually was reported on the seemingly lesser charge of unduly rough play.
The Coffs Swans have seven days to lodge an appeal to try and get the sentence reduced.