Dejected West Coast Eagle Andrew Gaff sits on the bench after his hit on a Fremantle opponent.
Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Dejected West Coast Eagle Andrew Gaff sits on the bench after his hit on a Fremantle opponent. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Legend’s scary warning to disgraced Gaff

FORMER AFL star Terry Wallace has given disgraced Eagles player Andrew Gaff a stern warning after the 26-year-old's shocking king hit on Fremantle young gun Andrew Brayshaw.

Gaff, who travelled to Melbourne today to face the AFL tribunal, is being tipped to receive a whopping 12 weeks for his damning brain snap during Sunday's western derby.

Wallace urged Gaff to seek out a fresh start at a new club for the 2018 season after rumours strengthened on Monday that the off-contract star had played his last game for West Coast.

"This is a player who's out of contract and is probably now being courted as much as any player in the competition up until yesterday," Wallace said on SEN radio.

"Does it have any impact on that? I don't think it will at all. I think there's a seven-year contract on the table from the North Melbourne Football Club for him to go there.

"Does he owe the West Coast Eagles? Because he'll now be out for the full finals campaign. Does he feel like there's any obligation to the West Coast Eagles?"

Wallace suggested the off-contract Gaff should skip town, expressing concern for the safety of the midfielder in Western Australia surrounded by furious Dockers fans.

"I'll take it a step further. If I was speaking to his family and advising his family, I think he's better off out of Perth," Wallace said.

"Because if you try to go to a bar or a nightclub as a young man when you've got almost half the population who follow the side (Fremantle) who have been involved in that type of incident, I think he actually puts himself in danger by staying in Perth.

"My personal opinion is I think he needs a fresh start. He needs to start somewhere else."

Andrew Brayshaw looked a mess after the third-quarter knock.
Andrew Brayshaw looked a mess after the third-quarter knock.

Wallace said he expected Gaff to get eight weeks for the top-tier offence.

The West Coast star will front the tribunal on Tuesday night. His punch left Brayshaw with a broken jaw.

The Fremantle teenager cannot eat solids for a month.

Gaff was referred directly to the tribunal after the incident during Sunday's tumultuous Western Derby.

It is the biggest tribunal case of the year, eclipsing the five-game suspension for GWS star Jeremy Cameron.

Precedents point to a seven-game ban for Gaff and that would end his season.

His best case scenario is that the penalty somehow is reduced to six matches. But even then the only way he returns this year is if the Eagles make the grand final after losing their qualifying final, which is likely to be in Perth.

Sydney forward Barry Hall was suspended for seven games in 2008 after he knocked out West Coast opponent Brent Staker.

Last year, Melbourne forward Tomas Bugg knocked out Sydney defender Callum Mills in a similar incident to Gaff's punch.

Bugg was banned for six weeks but, significantly, Mills played the following week.

That incident was graded as high impact - Gaff's was graded as severe and also intentional.

A golf game last week is a bizarre twist in the case.

Gaff and Andrew Brayshaw played a round with Brayshaw's older brother Hamish, who is on the West Coast list.

Gaff is expected to appear in person at Tuesday's Melbourne hearing and throw himself at the mercy of the three-man jury.

His direct referral means the penalty is up to the tribunal jury. Gaff had a spotless tribunal record before Sunday and he is shattered. It is understood he meant to punch Brayshaw in the chest.

Gaff's punch has renewed calls for an AFL send-off rule.

West Coast has apologised to the Brayshaw family and to the Dockers over the incident.

- with AAP