West Coast Eagles manager Adam Simpson has been accused of double standards after signing Josh Rotham just hours after criticizing the player’s decision to go to a nightclub after last week’s game.
Rotham and teammate Jackson Nelson were pictured at a popular Perth nightspot the day after the Eagles’ 109-point loss to Richmond last Friday, with Simpson saying he was “furious and disappointed” with the players’ actions.
However, just hours after the Eagles issued a statement condemning the players for their club exploits, Rotham was named in Simpson’s squad to face Brisbane on Saturday night, his first game since Round Five.
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The decision left AFL commentator Andy Maher and Port Adelaide premiership winner Kane Cornes scratching their heads.
“Actually, I really can’t believe it,” Maher said on SEN. “It’s actually amazing.”
“There’s someone else (they could have chosen)…one of those (the ERs instead).
“Does this undermine what Adam Simpson said? Yes. So what do they do?
“Josh Rotham won’t make a difference in this game. Josh Rotham won’t make a difference in the whole of what West Coast does and the reaction to what they did and the words of the coach in the statement, Josh Rotham has to be out on this side.
“The club surely has the right in these kinds of circumstances to take (a top player).”
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“You can’t bring him in,” Cornes said on AFL Nation.
“They have access to 20 top players, don’t they? It doesn’t matter if he plays…he won’t differentiate between them whether they’re competitive or not.
“You just have to take a stand…at least set some sort of standard at the club.
“Absolutely they should go to the recharge pool and pick, rather than picking a player who was in a nightclub when the last thing they needed was this embarrassment.”
Rotham is one of seven inclusions for the West Coast this week, with Greg Clark, Nelson, Luke Strnadica and Alex Witherden all out of last week’s squad due to health and safety protocols.
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