CARLTON'S gun free agency recruit Zac Williams will be forced to wait for his Blues debut, with the club unsuccessful in its bid to overturn his one-match suspension at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night.
Williams had elected to challenge his one-match ban, offered to him by the Match Review, having been cited for rough conduct following a high bump on St Kilda's Hunter Clark in the opening seconds of last Thursday night's AAMI Community Series clash.
Carlton contested the 'medium impact' grading of the charge, arguing it should be downgraded to 'low impact' and therefore only constitute a fine as Clark returned to the field within 10 minutes and had no concussive features.
But the AFL's legal counsel, Jeff Gleeson QC, was successfully able to argue that by Williams leaving his feet to execute the bump that there was the "potential to cause serious injury" and that the 'medium impact' grading should be upheld.
The Tribunal's jury deliberated for 20 minutes before reaching its verdict.
Williams was one of Carlton's blue-chip off-season recruits, with the club able to lure the talented midfielder as a free agency acquisition from Greater Western Sydney last November.
He was among the side's best players in the defeat to St Kilda last week, winning 17 disposals, six clearances and laying six tackles to go with two goals throughout an impressive performance.
AFL FIXTURE Check it out here
However, he will be unavailable for selection ahead of the club's blockbuster season-opener against Richmond next Thursday night. His club debut will now likely come in round two, also a highly anticipated Thursday night encounter against arch rivals Collingwood.
The Blues will be made to pay $10,000 for their unsuccessful appeal at the AFL Tribunal.