Ben­nell out­come ‘ this week’

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

A DE­CI­SION on the im­me­di­ate play­ing fu­ture of drug- tainted Gold Coast midfielder Har­ley Ben­nell will be made in the com­ing days, coach Rod­ney Eade says.

Ben­nell is wait­ing on what, if any, sanc­tions he’ll face af­ter photos of him in a Tas­ma­nia ho­tel room in March 2013 al­legedly us­ing il­licit drugs were pub­lished across the coun­try last week. The 22- year- old was stood down from last Satur­day’s 55- point AFL win over North Mel­bourne in what was es­sen­tially a wel­fare de­ci­sion but could face a longer stint on the side­lines if the club sus­pends him.

Eade said sev­eral key par­ties likely in­clud­ing Ben­nell and the AFL Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion would have fi­nal dis­cus­sions about the sit­u­a­tion yesterday, though the coach him­self was not in­volved.

“It is good that they kept me out of that,” Eade said.

“I’m only get­ting lit­tle bits here and there. I think there’s quite a few stake­hold­ers hav­ing dis­cus­sions, in­clud­ing med­i­cal. We’ve got to work out what’s best for Har­ley and also best for ev­ery­one con­cerned.”

Eade ex­pressed a de­sire for Ben­nell, who is con­tracted un­til the end of 2017, to re­main at the club be­yond this year.

“From my point of view I want Har­ley to stay, he said. “I’ll be work­ing heav­ily with Har­ley, we get along re­ally well and we’ve got a good re­la­tion­ship.

“He needs to com­mit to the group and what we stand for.”

Eade also recom­mit­ted him­self to the side, say­ing he is in for his full con­tract un­til the end of 2017 and hopes to “roll on even fur­ther”.

Pic­ture: REGI VARGHESE

WAIT­ING GAME: Suns midfielder Har­ley Ben­nell at Metricon Sta­dium.

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