By Adam Smith, The Mercury
LAUDERDALE will meet with prized off-season signing Sam Siggins today after the former Adelaide-listed defender asked for a clearance from the club.
Tensions have been simmering between Siggins and coach Darren Winter for several weeks and escalated across the weekend following a TV interview Winter gave prior to the Bombers’ TSL victory over Hobart City on Friday night.
Siggins missed the loss to Burnie three weeks ago with what the club described as an ankle injury, and was again absent on Friday night against the Demons.
Winter told Southern Cross the key utility, by mutual agreement, would take a break from footy to deal with personal issues.
The 22-year-old opened up to the Mercury late last year about his battle with depression, which haunted his final year in the AFL system and led to him returning home to be closer to friends and family.
He returned to the Bombers – his junior club from which he was drafted by the Crows in 2012 – but is understood to have struggled under Winter in the first third of the State League season.
“I’m disappointed that I wasn’t told that the coach was commenting about my future on TV,” Siggins told the Mercury last night via a brief statement.
“It’s disrespectful to myself and my family.
“I hadn’t made a decision on my playing future and was very disappointed with what was aired on Friday night.”
Siggins declined to comment when asked on his future in the TSL, and the Mercuryunderstands he will enlist the help of AFL Tasmania and the AFL Players Association to gain clearance if needed.
Bombers president Julie Kay said she was unaware of any application from Siggins to leave the club, but will sit down with him today in an effort to sort any differences.
“We need to get everything cleared up about what the problem is – we just don’t know,” Kay said. “We keep hearing bits and pieces.”