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Bolton to serve VFL ban

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 15: Shai Bolton of the Tigers looks on during the Melbourne Demons team photo day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Shai Bolton will be looking on until after the first round of the VFL season

RICHMOND draftee Shai Bolton will be unavailable for AFL selection until round five after the Tigers accepted he would need to serve his VFL suspension in round one of the state league competition.

The small forward was charged with striking Northern Blues opponent Tom Williamson in a VFL practice match last Thursday, pleading guilty on Monday and accepting a one-match ban.  

Bolton will need to serve the suspension in round one of the VFL season, which coincides with the AFL's round four, making him ineligible for senior selection for the next three weeks.

The Tigers chose not to enter a special submission to AFL Victoria for Bolton to serve the ban immediately, which would have required them to make a case that he would have been in contention for AFL selection this week.

Bolton, who was recruited with Richmond's first selection in last year's NAB AFL Draft (pick No.29 overall), will be able to play in all remaining VFL practice matches before round one.