UPDATE, MONDAY 10AM: The Ballarat Football Netball League has just released this statement regarding both the Melton South incident and the on-field brawl at Darley.
“The Ballarat Football Netball League can confirm that two investigations will be launched into separate incidents that took place at Darley Park and the Melton Recreation Reserve over the weekend.
The BFNL will appoint Investigations Officers to look into all aspects of both incidents.
The BFNL does not condone poor or unsportsmanlike behavior of any kind at our matches and we are committed to ensuring our clubs provide a family friendly environment.
The BFNL will not be making further comment on either matter until the results of both investigation are known.”
EARLIER, SUNDAY 7PM: Melton South went from a new season club low to the highest of highs all in one day in the Ballarat Football League on Saturday.
The Panthers sacked their under-18.5 coach after he was involved in an altercation with one of his players, and then broke their duck in seniors with a 104-point demolition of Ballarat Swans at Melton Recreation Reserve.
Melton South senior coach Heath Pritchard said the thirds coach had been dismissed on the spot with immediate effect during the game.
He said the incident occurred after the Melton South player involved and a Ballarat opponent were shown red cards and ordered from the field in the first quarter.
A spectator at the ground filmed this video.
Pritchard said there was a verbal clash between the coach and Melton South player, and then a physical altercation.
He said under no circumstances would the club tolerate this type of treatment of a player by a coach. “He was dismissed there and then.”
Pritchard said the club had spoken to the parents of the impacted player and all other under-18.5 players, and had their full support.
He said a new coach had already been appointed.
Pritchard said a club investigation into the incident was continuing.
BFL operations manager Shane Anwyl said the league had been informed of the issue.
He said it was an internal club matter.
Melton South’s senior team bounced back from a 128-point loss to East Point a week earlier to get on the board.
The incident came on a dark day for the league, with a violent on-field brawl at Darley Park occurring later that day.