Quite sensationally, West Coast Eagles officials have revealed that not only was Andrew Gaff reportedly “friends” with Andrew Brayshaw off the field, but that the duo had gone as far as playing golf with each other just five days prior to yesterday’s horrific on-field incident which left Brayshaw with a broken jaw and Gaff facing not only a lengthy AFL suspension, but possible criminal charges as well.
Eagles chairman Trevor Nesbitt fronted media earlier this afternoon to try and get on top of the situation which threatens to overrun his club in the lead-up to the AFL Finals, addressing and deflecting a barrage of questioning from media.
While for the most part Nesbitt remained unflappably non-committal regarding the incident – refusing to say anything beyond Gaff and the club taking full responsibility for the incident – he did reveal one baffling piece of information: Gaff and Brayshaw have (or had) an off-field friendship.
18-year-old Brayshaw is part of a storied football family, with his two brothers also being current AFL players: Angus, the elder of the trio, who plays for Melbourne, and Hamish who unbelievably is one of Gaff’s own teammates at West Coast (although Hamish was not in the side that took the field yesterday).
Nesbitt, while addressing media, stated the horrific incident is even more unfathomable given Gaff and the two Perth-based Brayshaws played golf together days prior.
I think five days ago the (Brayshaw) brothers and Andrew Gaff were on the golf course together so it’s an extraordinary situation we all find ourselves in.
Brayshaw, for his part, posted an entirely cute update on his condition on Instagram a short while ago.
Good lad. Very good lad.
Andy underwent surgery last night to repair his broken jawbone and will not be able to eat solid food for up to four weeks, effectively ending his season.
Gaff, meanwhile, faces a lengthy suspension in a tribunal hearing likely to be held tomorrow night. Western Australian police have confirmed they are investigating the shocking incident.Image: Getty Images / Michael Wilson