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Essendon calls parents meeting over banned players

Peter Ryan  January 21, 2016 12:58 PM

AFL 2016 Training - Essendon 140116

Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell

ESSENDON has invited the parents of the 34 banned past and present players to a meeting to discuss ongoing support for the affected players.

The meeting follows the season-long ban the Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed last week over the club's 2012 supplements program.

The Bombers want to ensure parents understand the steps being taken to support the players since the decision was handed down last Tuesday.

They are also seeking to hear parents' concerns to ensure the Bombers' support is appropriately directed.

The Bombers' CEO Xavier Campbell will speak at Thursday's meeting, and understands the AFL Players' Association has also been invited.

The players' parents were involved in a conference call last week involving the club and the players' representatives immediately after the decision, but the club was keen to have a face-to-face meeting, particularly mindful to ensure parents of players who live outside Victoria had the chance to discuss the issues in person.

The club's board met on Wednesday to address the challenges it faced, with club president Lindsay Tanner saying all energies were being devoted to dealing with the issue and supporting the players.

"As a club, we felt we needed to get together and respond to the challenges that have been put to us," Tanner said.

"We will be back up there and firing and we are going to be working very hard to ensure that we recover from this decision and the implications from it and that we support our players, support our team and that we are back up there [being] successful very quickly."

With the conditions of the suspension limiting the club's ability to advise the players – although the exact details of what they can and can't do are still being clarified – the club has to be careful about the support it provides directly to the affected players.

Football manager Rob Kerr said on 3AW the club was being cautious in its interaction with players.

"We've made sure across the whole club that those people are getting contact from people within the club and getting moral support. That is really the main thing," Kerr said.

"We can provide moral support, and we are endeavouring to make sure that that's done."