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Friday, February 1, 2019

Should AFL players be cut some off-season slack?

A keen golfer in his spare time, Essendon forward Orazio Fantasia reckons there’s no way he’d be found on a wakeboard or water skis on a day off.
But Fantasia agrees AFL players should be cut some slack amid growing scrutiny of their off-season pursuits.
Port Adelaide star Ollie Wines has copped heat from past players after dislocating his right shoulder in a water skiing accident.
Wines, in contention to replace Travis Boak as Port’s captain, had arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday and will miss the start of the season.
Former Port player Kane Cornes - known for his inflammatory views since taking up a media career - ripped into Wines, saying he had let his team down and labelling it “an embarrassing situation for the club’s highest-paid player”.
Fantasia said the topic had been addressed at his club but players could hardly be expected to wrap themselves in cotton wool.
“My point of view on that is we’re humans too,” Fantasia said on Thursday.
“You’ve got to enjoy yourself as well and have some fun. You can’t be stuck in your room the whole holidays.
“We had a little discussion, just about being smart. If you’re not very experienced at anything like that ... like, I wouldn’t go wakeboarding myself. I’ve never done it before.
“I love playing golf. Luckily that’s not too strenuous.
“That’s probably as extreme as I’ll get.”
Geelong star and AFL Players’ Association president Patrick Dangerfield also went into bat for Wines, saying it was ironic to hear such criticism from past players.
“I’d love to see what their extra-curricular activities were like when they were playing, just to go out there and have a little bit of fun,” Dangerfield told the Seven Network.
“If you lose that within the game then we become robots.”


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