PEGS football club is rallying around captain Tim Biggs after a horror neck injury has left the club leader facing a lengthy rehabilitation.
Biggs was able to take himself from the field after receiving a high bump to the head against Rupertswood on May 19 only to discover the extent of his injuries after being assessed in hospital.
A high spinal injury means Biggs will wear a halo brace to immobilise his neck for about three months before extensive rehabilitation.
The club is holding a support fund-raiser this Saturday to help Biggs and his fiance Kirsten.
‘‘He was putting his head over the ball like he’s done a million times before,’’ PEGS committee member Jordan Leask said.
‘‘In local football any time you hear of something like this you can be taken aback. He’s such a well-respected figure at our club and in local footy and put an enormous amount in. The club is going to assist Tim financially through his recovery.’’
PEGS coach Trent Cummings said a similar incidence of a player being hit high while putting his head over the ball at the weekend against Parkdale Vultures had him worried about the way aspects of the game were being played.
‘‘As a coach, I’m worried, frightened about the guy bent over the ball and other guys running into them leading with the hip,’’ Cummings said.
‘‘Lain Genovesi went to the hospital at the weekend to be looked at after he got hit the same way. Chris Goullet had the same thing happen when he had his head over the ball.
‘‘From a football point of view it’s time to address the situation.’’
Both players were cleared of any serious injury stemming from their match incidents.
Submissions about the Biggs incident were made to the VAFA with no formal response issued when the Weekly went to print.
‘‘It’s up to them to investigate if it was an act you want in our game,’’ Cummings said.
‘‘Any time you get hit in the head, like AFL these days, it’s got to be non-negotiable. [There’s got to be] suspensions for it, especially if there is damage [to the player hit].’’
Cummings said the weekend performance, an 82-point defeat to Parkdale, was disappointing.
‘‘(Tim) is such a hard-at-it footballer, when he’s not there blokes look around and ask ‘who’s going to do it’.
‘‘Parkdale was definitely the best side we’ve played. Whether or not Tim’s injury rattled the group, you could say on the result yes it did, but also there were other factors on the day like set-ups and match-ups.
‘‘One thing we will do is step back and look at the fundamentals and principles put in place at the start of the year, rather than worry about the ladder and win-loss.’’
ST Bernards moved to within a win of the VAFA Premier top four after keeping Uni Blues at arm’s length in a 39-point win at the weekend.
The Snowdogs kicked six first-quarter goals to two and enjoyed margins of 26 and 32 points at the subsequent intervals on the way to winning 12.13 (85) to 6.10 (46).
The three-and-three Snowdogs – who kicked six goals in the first quarter –are the only team in Premier with an even win-loss count and sit fifth, a game and 23 per cent behind Old Scotch in fourth.
In Premier C, a nine-goal bag from Matthew Boland led Parkdale Vultures to a 20.9 (129) to 6.11 (47) win against PEGS. The loss means PEGS (3-3) sits sixth on the ladder, a game behind fourth-placed Fitzroy (4-2).
In Division 2, Therry Penola led at every break as it held on to beat La Trobe University by eight points and retain fifth on the table (3-3) a win out of the top four behind Old Paradians (4-2) and third-placed Eltham Collegians (4-2).
St Bernards 12.13 (85) d University Blues 6.10 (46)
GOALS — St Bernards: A. Merrington 3, J. Madden, M. Church 2, N. Cooke, B. George, M. Licciardo, D. Byrne, J. Forder. Uni Blues: J. Watts, R. McMahon 2, S. Chadwick, D. Withers
BEST — St Bernards: S. Caven, T. Caven, L. O’Sullivan, A. Van Meel, A. Grosso. Uni Blues: A. Austin, L. Butler, J. Watts, M. Rippon, D. Withers, J. Vickers-Willis
Parkdale Vultures 20.9 (129) d PEGS 6.11 (47)
GOALS — Parkdale: M. Boland 9, C. Ryan 3, P. Groves, D. Rochford 2, A. Thompson, Z. McCarthy, R. Swayn, D. Price. PEGS: D. Forrest 4, D. Flaherty, A. Frazer
BEST — Parkdale: M. Boland, D. Robbins, L. Emmerson, Z. McCarthy, C. Ryan, T. Boland. PEGS: S. Towner, T. Skurrie, D. Forrest, R. Jones, C. Goullet, A. Frazer
Therry Penola 8.12 (60) d La Trobe University 8.4 (52)
GOALS — Therry Penola: M. Costello 5, L. Kowalski, J. Crotty, H. Rowe. B: J. McMeel 4, S. Patten 3, G. Dowler
BEST — Therry Penola: S. Rees, A. Maynard, K. Biddlestone, M. Trimble, M. Costello, D. Ryan. LTU: R. McMinn, D. McMaster, D. McKie, E. McKenzie, S. Jeffrey
ROUND 7: Collegians v St Bernards (Harry Trott Oval, Albert Park), Old Camberwell v PEGS (Gordon Barnard Reserve, North Balwyn), Monash Gryphons v Therry Penola (East Caulfield Reserve)