An emotional Brayden Maynard has admitted he was shaken by his appearance at the tribunal ahead of Collingwood’s preliminary final victory over the GWS Giants.
Maynard was the center of attention following the Pies’ win over Melbourne two weeks ago when he knocked out demon Angus Brayshaw in an incident that divided the football world.
Maynard lunged forward and tried to smother him, grabbing Brayshaw high with his shoulder.
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He was sent to the tribunal where the AFL demanded a three-game ban, but after a marathon hearing he was acquitted and allowed to play in the preliminary final.
He had the difficult task of manning GWS captain Toby Greene and while the superstar striker scored twice, Maynard produced a number of crucial moves to be among his side’s best in the thrilling one-point win.
Speaking to Channel 7 after the game, Maynard was overcome with emotion: as you can see in the video above.
“Wide. I’m shaking. I’m actually shaking. I’m getting a little emotional because I just love this,” he said.
“That’s what we play for. One point. Preliminary rounds.
“All praise to GWS, much respect. They will be a great team in the future. Way out there, how good is that? Seriously. How well.”
When asked about his preparation for the game, which included a tribunal hearing and a high-profile visit to Brayshaw’s home, Maynard made a telling admission.
“I won’t lie. I talked about it during the week. It shocked me, it shocked me a lot,” he said.
“I had great people around me, the whole club, my family. I would like to thank the Collingwood family and supporters for looking after me.
“This week was damn hard. All this crap, I can’t believe it right now. It’s so damn good.”
Maynard’s comments came after one of the biggest preliminary finals in recent memory.
In a titanic battle, the Pies battled to a stunning one-point victory to secure their place in the grand final.
Maynard also paid tribute to coach Craig McRae, who celebrated his 50th birthday.
“He came here two years ago and made a really good plan. We followed it,” he said.
“Last year it didn’t work out. This year we knew that if we stuck together, connected with the fans and trusted the system we played, we would go far.
“Happy birthday fly, I love you very much buddy. Let’s celebrate it. Let’s go to the big dance.”