Demons consider Bennell
HARLEY Bennell is one step closer to reviving his AFL career after agreeing to train with Melbourne.
The former No.2 draft pick will begin training with the Demons after the AFL Draft, which will be held across two nights on November 27-28.
It was reported last week the Demons were the frontrunners to sign the injuryplagued ex-Docker who has played just two AFL games since 2015 due to myriad calf and soft tissue injuries.
If the trial is successful, Bennell could join his third AFL club as a rookie and be signed by the Dees in the pre-season supplemental selection period.
“We are pleased that Harley has accepted our offer to train over pre-season,” Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said.
“Harley has been through some well-documented challenges throughout his career and we are happy to offer him an opportunity for a fresh start.
“Both the club and Harley are fully aware of the hurdles that are in front of him to return to playing AFL, but we are committed to working together over the pre-season, and potentially beyond.”
Several clubs have shown interest in throwing Bennell a lifeline, including Geelong and Sydney, but Bennell is excited by the prospect of reuniting with former Gold Coast teammate Steven May at Melbourne. The 27-year-old has undergone two rounds of surgery in a bid to get to the bottom of his calf issues.
He is expected to resume running shortly, with the Demons to take a very cautious approach to his training.
“Harley is at the starting line in terms of getting his body prepared for AFL,” Mahoney said. “We all know it will be a slow, well-planned program, with many little milestones and potential setbacks, before any thoughts regarding an impact at AFL level.
“Harley has undergone a new intervention into his calf issues and has committed to some lifestyle changes, and we are confident he will bring the right attitude to attack the individual program he will be given.”