Soccer punch: 'I thought kid was grown man'
THE adult coach alleged to have punched a 13-year-old during a junior soccer match says in his defence he thought the kid was a grown man.
The Mudgeeraba Soccer Club junior assistant coach, facing a potential life ban, has hired top Gold Coast criminal lawyer Campbell MacCallum.
Mr MacCallum said his client wanted to explain "striking" the teen spectator during the under-15 Mudgeeraba versus Ormeau fixture on July 10.
"A spectator who looked like a grown man ran on, pitch invasion style, and coward-punched his (playing) son who ended up in hospital that night," Mr MacCallum alleged.
"His son fell and this person stood over his son. He ran on the field as he thought there would be a further assault on his son who looked to be in a defensive situation," Mr MacCallum alleged.
"He does not agree with any adults striking children. (But) he was of the belief it was an older person who had invaded the pitch, given the size, and he was defending his own child.
"He says he recalls striking," Mr MacCallum said.
"He says he used what he believed to be enough force to stop any further assault against his son who was lying defenceless on the ground.
"His mindset was he was in grave fear for his son's safety."
The man's son was taken to hospital for a concussion check and had seven sutures to a lip.
Yesterday, it was revealed the man was an assistant coach and immediately suspended, as was the 13-year-old who invaded the pitch to allegedly help his older brother in a fracas.
The boy's mother has said her son admitted running on and punching a player but was hit "crazy hard" by the coach and struggling to sleep.
Both parties have laid complaints with police.
Football Gold Coast's disciplinary tribunal has yet to release a decision on sanctions.