Champion Eagle clipped over AFL vaccine mandate as teammate steps up
Powerhouse West Coast forward Jack Darling can no longer train with his teammates and has been banned from club facilities after missing a vaccination deadline for AFL players in Western Australia.
The AFL’s mandate for WA-based players requires them to have their first vaccination by January 21 and be fully vaccinated by February 18, with no decision yet on booster shots.
While the Eagles said they respected their four-time leading goalkicker’s decision they also had to abide by AFL regulations.
“Jack Darling has not adhered to the AFL’s COVID-19 training and playing mandates and therefore – under the AFL rules – he will be unable to attend the club’s facility at Mineral Resources Park and by extension any club training sessions,” a club statement said.
“While Jack will take some time to assess his future, he will train independently of the remainder of the squad.”
West Coast revealed in November three of its players – of which Darling was one – had expressed misgivings about the requirement, with star recruit Tim Kelly recently committing to getting his first dose of the vaccination.
— Paddy Sweeney (@SweeneyPaddy9) January 21, 2022