LAKE Macquarie defender Danny Burt would have accepted double the six-week ban he received yesterday for elbowing and stepping on former teammate David Field and says he is focused on becoming the oldest player in Northern NSW State League history.
Burt was told yesterday of the ban, which will rule him out of the opening third of next season’s state league campaign with the Roosters.
‘‘Yeah, I’m happy with that. It’s what I deserved,’’ he told the Herald yesterday.
‘‘I would have taken anything up to 12 weeks for what I did, and I’m just glad it’s all over now and I can move on.’’
Burt was given a straight red card for elbowing Field late in the dramatic final-round 2-1 relegation-battle win over West Wallsend at Johnston Park on Saturday.
The pair, who played at Lake Macquarie in 2010, had fallen to the ground during a challenge and Burt reacted by elbowing Field in the head.
After being red-carded for the blow, the 39-year-old former Canberra Cosmos and Sydney United national league player stepped on Field’s ankle as he left the field.
Burt apologised to Field and coaches on both teams after the game and expressed his remorse in the Herald on Tuesday.
Burt, who turns 40 in November, said the ban simply meant he would have an extended off-season and he had no plans to hang up the boots.
‘‘Even if what happened didn’t happen, I was never going to finish like that, coming second-last,’’ he said. ‘‘We all want to redeem ourselves at the Roosters and hopefully play finals footy next season and I want to be part of that.’’
Burt was even looking beyond next season.
‘‘I’ll go for as long as I can,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m pretty sure the record for oldest player in the state league is 43 years – both David Jones and Wayne Bailey did that – so that’s something I’m looking at, but I’ll just take it year by year.’’
Burt said Roosters coach Chris Turner had contacted Field this week to check on his well-being and to clear the air.
He said Turner passed on that Field ‘‘was sweet’’.
Burt hoped the pair could move on and remain friends.
‘‘I’m sure we’ll catch up around the traps before next season,’’ he said. ‘‘Hopefully we can leave what happens on the field on the field.
‘‘Hopefully he hasn’t lost too much respect for me.’’
Burt’s suspension was one of two notable bans imposed on state league players this week.
Charlestown captain and striker Kane Goodchild received two matches for his send-off for two yellow cards, both for sliding challenges on Weston goalkeeper Tim Pratt, on Sunday.
Goodchild will miss the Blues’ elimination semi-final against Edgeworth at Lisle Carr Oval tomorrow and potentially a minor semi-final.
Blues coach Mark Wilson said it was a huge blow to his side.
However, it appears that Charlestown will not seek further action to reduce the ban.