The Courier-Mail

Suns set wayward star adrift

- ANDREW HAMILTON

HARLEY Bennell’s turbulent career at the Gold Coast Suns has ended with a drunken scuffle outside Sin City nightclub in Surfers Paradise.

The Suns have been told Bennell (above) had a bloodalcoh­ol level in excess of 0.20 shortly after his arrest at 1.45am yesterday and he is not allowed in the Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach entertainm­ent precinct for 10 days.

Bennell provided exhilarati­ng highs in his time with the Suns, including his secondplac­e finish to Gary Ablett in the club champions award as a 19-year-old in 2012. But he also plumbed the depths with alcohol and drug scandals.

Just two days after the final game of a rocky season the Suns have now parted company with Bennell and Charlie Dixon, the two players believed to be ringleader­s in the party culture the club wants to stamp out.

“Despite the incident ... being relatively minor, it’s the view of the club, our coaches and player leadership group that Harley is unable to make long-term change required to remain with the Suns,” club chief executive officer Andrew Travis said.

Bennell, 22, who was taken with the No.2 pick in the club’s first draft of 2010, is now officially on the market. He is not welcome at the club c champion awards on Friday.

Bennell was already sitting on a suspended sentence after photos of him using drugs were published in The Courier-Mail in July.

In the latest incident, Bennell was allegedly spotted by police slapping a cigarette out o of a bouncer’s hand. He was th thrown in the drunk tank and re released a few hours later.

If he pleads guilty to the pu public nuisance charge there is unlikely to be a conviction re recorded against him. SPORTSP P58-59

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