Paddy McCartin with Sydney's VFL team and (inset) a screenshot of the controversial strike. Picture: AFL Media

FORMER No.1 draft pick Paddy McCartin has been suspended for five matches for his off-the-ball punch in the VFL.

Footage emerged on Monday of McCartin lashing out at Aaron Black during the match between Sydney and Geelong's reserves, with the ball nowhere near the pair.

Black avoided serious injury and was cleared of concussion, but the video shows him staggering backwards after McCartin lands a blow to the head.


The incident was graded intentional, severe impact and high contact, with McCartin referred straight to the VFL Tribunal.

The VFL Tribunal imposed a five-match ban in what is a major blow to McCartin's hopes of being picked up in the mid-season rookie draft on June 2.

McCartin joined the Swans' reserves for the 2021 VFL season, wanting to reignite a career that looked to be over after he suffered eight concussions while at St Kilda.


The 25-year-old apologised for his actions before the Tribunal hearing on Tuesday night.

"I'm really disappointed about what happened and I'm gutted, honestly. I feel terrible about what happened and really want to apologise to everyone," McCartin said.

"I'm just really glad that he (Black) is ok. I spoke to him yesterday and he let me know that he's alright, which I'm really, really happy about.

"I just wanted to apologise to him and his family for what happened.

"I'm really, really sorry and deeply regretful for what happened and hopefully next time I see him I can shake his hand and we can move past it."

McCartin is determined to win back the respect of the public and the football world.

"I know that through some actions I made on the weekend I've probably lost some of the respect of people in the footy community and that's something that I'm really upset about and really disappointed in," he said.

"What I did on the weekend let a lot of people down and I'm really upset about that and really apologetic for it.

"I'll do everything I can to earn back the respect of everyone that I've lost and show people that what happened isn't a pattern of behaviour of mine and it's not something that's ingrained in my personality.

"It's just a mistake and I'll do everything I can to learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again.""