Ambulance Victoria has apologised to Daylesford captain Josh Cowan after it took an ambulance 90 minutes to get to the ground to treat his broken leg on Saturday.
The senior football match between Hepburn and Daylesford in Victoria's Central Highlands was abandoned after Cowan broke multiple bones in his lower leg in the first quarter at Daylesford's Victoria Park.
Ambulance Victoria's Regional Director of Grampians Chris James said the delayed response time was 'a mistake'.
"After an immediate review, we have determined a mistake has been made in not responding to the patient in the appropriate time," he said.
"We sincerely apologise to Josh, the Daylesford community and our off duty Ambulance Community Officer.
"We are taking steps to speak with Josh as part of our review and wish him all the best in his recovery."
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Hepburn was leading the game at the time of the incident 1.2 (8) to no score from Daylesford.
After an immediate review, we have determined a mistake has been made in not responding to the patient in the appropriate time.Chris James, Ambulance Victoria's Regional Director of Grampians
The two clubs planned to finish the first quarter and shorten the remaining three quarters if play was able to be re-started by 4.30pm.
But the deadline was passed by the time paramedics stabilised Cowan and removed him from the ground.
The game was declared a draw and the four points were split between the two sides.
Cowan was formerly on Geelong's AFL list from 2010-2017, playing 16 games. He crossed to his junior club Daylesford from Geelong Football League powerhouse St Mary's ahead of the 2021 season.
Daylesford president Carson White said it was a disappointing end to a successful day finally returning to play footy and netball.
"Unfortunate for Josh, first game back at the club. The worst part about today is for him and the family and what they're dealing with right now," he said on Saturday.
"At the end of the day footy's footy, but from our club point of view, it's just thinking of him and where he's at."