Notorious former bikie Dylan Jessen has made a public appeal for his reputation not to end his footy season after he was reported for breaking a rival’s jaw this weekend.
The former member of the Finks Motorcycle Club was reported on Saturday over a first quarter incident in his Virginia Rams team’s loss to Hamley Bridge in South Australia.
Jessen, who quit the gang eight years ago, is alleged to have struck opposition player Leon Raether as they were moving towards the centre of the ground.
The official incident report compiled by the Hamley Bridge Bombers claims: “As Raether attempted to move past Jessen, Jessen struck Raether with enough force to dislodge his mouthguard some distance and leave him on the ground with a bleeding mouth”.
Raether was taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital and treated for a fractured jaw.
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According to The Messenger, Jessen, 30, will face an Adelaide Plains Football League tribunal hearing on Wednesday night.
The report claims Jessen fears the tribunal will end his season unjustly — based on his previous life as a bikie.
“I wish I could take it back,” the father of two children said.
“It was a silly mistake. I should have been more careful but it was just a reaction. As my arm got ripped back I turned around and made accidental contact.
“I feel bad that I’ve hurt the bloke, I’m not a monster.
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“People just have a picture of you in their head. But it is footy, stuff like this happens every week. (Suspension) is justified because someone has been hurt.”
Jessen, a former state representative U18s football talent, was in 2016 exiled from Salisbury North Football Club over allegations he “king hit” a Prince Alfred Old Collegians opposition player.
No official umpires report or incident report was compiled for the alleged incident, however, Salisbury North coach Gavin Chaplin said at the time the club had made the decision to part ways with Jessen.
His latest report for striking is the first time he has been reported since joining the Rams last year.
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Jessen grew up as a player touted to one day play professional football. As a teenager, he played reserve grade for Central Districts in the SANFL, but missed the cut at the 2008 AFL National Draft.
He was imprisoned in 2013 for three years for possessing a loaded, unregistered and defaced handgun.
He swears his past should not now come back to haunt him.
“It all comes from a reputation that was eight years ago,” he said.
“I work hard, look after my family and play footy. Judge me on what I’ve done (in the game), not something from eight years ago now.
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“I’m out there doing a sport I love and that I grew up doing and finally back to the person I was. I’m not sitting here saying I’m a saint and I’m not going to cry wolf. I made a mistake, I’ll go to the tribunal, no doubt I’ll get games and fair enough.”
Jessen’s Rams won the battle and the game 16.14 (110) to Hamley’s 9.12 (66).