Traralgon Football Club senior coach Tim McGibney was sensationally sacked on Tuesday night over comments made about a rival team in a podcast.
The former VFL assistant was dumped for sledging an opposition Gippsland League player on an episode of The Low Footy IQ podcast three weeks ago.
The podcast episode was taken down after Wonthaggi Power Football Netball Club lodged a complaint with the Traralgon Football Netball Club and the league.
McGibney, 32, said he had formally apologised, but was informed on Tuesday night that he was “pretty much being sacked over it”.
“Certainly, I am aware that what I said was the wrong thing and I followed the correct and right steps to take accountability for that,” McGibney told The Express.
“I wrote numerous official letters of apology to the rival club, Traralgon, to the league, AFL Gippsland and the umpires … I really worked to ensure that I contacted every party.
“I have a really young group and it felt like I was being a strong leader for them at the time, but I shouldn’t have said what I said.”
McGibney took over the reins as head coach from playing-coach Mark Collison and led the side to a seventh-place finish in his debut season in 2019.
The board announced midway through the year that McGibney had already earned the vote as the right man to take the side forward, reappointing him for the 2020 season.
Traralgon president Kevin Foley confirmed to The Express that McGibney was no longer with the Maroons and that the club was looking at appointing a playing coach in 2021.
“It would certainly make sense if (TFNC looking for a senior playing coach for 2021) has played a part in the decision,” McGibney said.
“Having been part of football for a long time I understand that clubs plan for their futures.
“I would like to thank the people of Traralgon, the relationships I’ve formed have been great, I respect those people, I love the playing group and I’m disappointed that I wont be involved in the future.”
In a statement, Foley said the club deemed McGibney’s comments breached the AFL Coaches Code of Conduct.
“The TFNC is a proud club that has a strong understanding of our social obligations to the local community including players, member’s sponsors and opposition,” he said.
“The comments that were made by our coach does not represent these obligations and our club just can’t accept this behaviour.”