Bríd Stack says she’s “devastated” but counting her blessings in the wake of the serious neck fracture she sustained in an AFL pre-season debut on Sunday.
Stack has been released from hospital and is on the long road to recovery after the nightmare incident, tweeting Wednesday: “Looking forward to rehab once cleared to do so. Thanks for all the lovely messages, to all involved with the GWS Giants, to the exemplary healthcare staff in Adelaide and to a little man whose hugs make everything better.”
Devastated but counting my blessings. Looking forward to rehab once cleared to do so. For now, hup the drugs 🙌 Thanks for all the lovely messages, to all involved with @GWSGIANTS, to the exemplary healthcare staff in Adelaide & to a little man whose hugs make everything better🧡 pic.twitter.com/E5AFQm2mbw— Bríd Stack (@BridStackie) January 20, 2021
The ‘little man’ in question is her one-year-old son Carthach Jnr. His dad Carthach paid tribute this week to Stacks’ Giants colleague Cora Stauntion, who he described as a “very dear friend” in this ordeal.
“She has been like a second mom to Carthach Jnr, and has gone above and beyond to ensure we are ok and looked after and that the small lad is supported. We are so grateful for her help and support," Keane said of the Mayo legend.
“All Brid’s teammates have been fantastic from day one but especially now when we really needed help. They, and the management team of Bri, Alan, Gemma and the gang have bent over backwards for us.”
Meanwhile, Adelaide Crows have announced they will appeal the record ban handed to Ebony Marinoff for the incident that left Stack with a fractured neck.
Marinoff was handed a three-match ban by the AFL tribunal for the front-on contact on Stack late in Sunday's practice match against the Greater Western Sydney Giants No AFLW player has been handed more than a two-game ban before and if upheld the sanction means Marinoff would miss a third of the regular nine-game season.
Crows Head of Women’s Football Phil Harper says that punishment is 'grossly disproportionate'.
“We are appealing this decision because we all feel that the suspension is grossly disproportionate for the action.
“We need to support our player in this instance as we feel Ebony acted in an appropriate manner given the circumstances of this incident.
“We also feel for the Giants and Bríd in particular and wish her all the best for what is hopefully a speedy recovery.”
Crows coach Matthew Clarke said the club felt the incident was “an unavoidable footy collision” rather than careless or dangerous play by Marinoff.
“With regard to the penalty, as coaches and administrators we have a duty of care to our players and Ebony and all other AFLW players train incredibly hard for nine months for the opportunity to play just nine games.
“We feel it is unjust and disproportionate to have one third of those games taken away by what I believe to be an unavoidable incident.
“We believe it’s important to not only support our players, but to question an outcome which we see as placing an unreasonable expectation on all players to avoid contact in circumstances where the ball is in dispute.”
In a statement, Marinoff said she didn’t mean to hurt Stack.
“I’m really disappointed with this outcome, it was never my intention to hurt Bríd.
“Every time I go onto the footy field I want to play hard but fair football and I believe that’s what I did on Sunday.
“I reached out to Bríd to send her my best and I wish her a fast recovery.”