Casey McElroy playing for the Padthaway Football Club men’s reserve team. (Supplied: Ace Coote)
A country women’s footballer facing a six-week ban for playing in a men’s team says she is “shattered” as she prepares to face a tribunal in Adelaide.
- Casey McElroy played for the Padthaway men’s reserves team on May 25
- The SANFL banned her for six weeks for breaching regulations
- She has appealed the ban and will go before a tribunal next Tuesday
Casey McElroy will face the hearing next Tuesday after she rejected the SANFL’s six-match ban deal in exchange for an early guilty plea.
McElroy played for the Padthaway Lions’ men’s reserves team on May 25 despite not being registered and being illegible as a woman over 14 years old.
McElroy was charged with “breaching regulations and policies” by the SANFL.
The Padthaway local has declined media interviews, but in a text message said she was “shattered” by the impact the case could have on her future in football.
She will not be able to play in the first six weeks of the Limestone Coast Women’s Football League.
The Lions were fined $2,000 by the Kowree-Naracoorte-Tatiara Football League.
The SANFL said it would not be bound by the six-match offer, meaning if McElroy is found guilty, she could be suspended for even longer.
SANFL football general manager Adam Kelly said last week that playing as an unregistered player in an official match was a serious breach of regulations that exposed her, her teammates and the opposition to insurance risk.
McElroy uncertain for regional competition
McElroy was named best and fairest in this year’s Limestone Coast Women’s Football League, where she plays for Kybybolite.
The South East squad held its first trial game on Saturday afternoon ahead of July’s women’s country championships next month in Port Pirie.
Coach Reece Duncan said it was “up in the air” whether McElroy would play or not ahead of the tribunal hearing, as the ban also extends to the regional competition.
But he said there was a lot of strong talent in the squad regardless.
“Just with how far women’s footy has come since the first year, which was only three seasons ago,” he said.
“The competitive nature of the girls and the improvement that’s taken place has been unreal and it’s been awesome to see, to watch and to be a part of.”