Country footballer in induced coma after premiership celebrations go horribly wrong

Jake Santa MariaPerthNow
A footballer was airlifted to hospital after suffering serious injuries.
Camera IconA footballer was airlifted to hospital after suffering serious injuries. Credit: News Corp Australia

A country footballer in Victoria has been left in a critical condition after his team’s celebrations of a drought-breaking premiership.

Yarrawonga forward Jess Koopman was taken to hospital after an explosion at a post-match function, hours after their four-point win over Albury.

Police on Wednesday charged a 45-year-old man with reckless conduct endangering serious injury and possessing an explosive substance over allegedly supplying a firework.

He was bailed to appear before Wangaratta Magistrates Court on December 4.

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A 25-year-old man was also arrested and was assisting police with their inquiries.

Coached by Geelong great Steve Johnson, Yarrawonga were celebrating their first premiership in 10 years, but the Herald Sun reported the celebrations turned dangerous after an ’improvised explosive device,’ went off.

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Emergency services were called to Dunlop Street in Yarrawonga at 11.15pm after Koopman suffered serious facial injuries.

AFL Geelong v Adelaide
Camera IconSteve Johnson took over coaching Yarrawonga this year. Credit: News Corp Australia

“It was critical when he was flown out but we haven’t got a clear indication yet (about his health),” Yarrawonga Football Manager Leigh Ramsdale said.

“He’s on a ventilator, they are worried about his airways, eyes and facial (injuries),

“It didn’t sound good last night and early this morning.”

Ramsdale has been part of the club since 2015 and missed a chance to kick the winning goal in last year’s premiership where they went down by three points.

“He’s one of our most loved players for many reasons, he’s a bit of a character and a typical cheeky small forward,” Ramsdale said.

“He’s been super loyal to the club, he’s had opportunities to go to multiple supporting club but stayed true and loyal to Yarrawonga.

“We’ll do all we can to support him and his family.”

Police are investigating the incident.

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