Fremantle Dockers Captain Nat Fyfe addressed the subject of Harley Bennell, who apparently was doing his best Ben Stokes imitation when he got into a nightclub brawl.
The Dockers have banished Bennell to the WAFL subsidiary and in the interest of clarity, since acronyms are easily misread; WAFL stands for Western Australian Football League, which would easily be mixed up with Australian Football League Women, i.e. AFLW.
Bennell is not being sent off to play with the girls, but he will be training with the junior club for at least the next two months. The Dockers fined Bennell $15,000, but suspended $5,000 of that figure; still, ouch.
Bennell got into a scuffle in a Perth nightclub, and then got into further trouble for drinking an excessive amount of adult beverages the day before a Dockers’ training session.
“Initially, it’s disappointing for Harley — it’s disappointing for our club,” Fyfe told reporters on Wednesday in Perth. “As a player and (from a) leader’s standpoint, we’re here to support Harley. We want to see him back playing for our footy club. But he has acted his way out at the moment and he will go away and really fight for his career.”
That is a lot of speechifying from Fyfe for a player with just two games for the Dockers, after coming over from the Gold Coast Suns on a three-year deal with Fremantle.
Bennell has run afoul of the Dockers previously. Last year, he was ordered to undergo counselling and fined him $10,000, but that amount was reduced by half.
In April of 2017, he was booted from a flight headed to Gold Coast because he was obviously intoxicated.
Bennell has also been linked to illicit substances. In July of 2015, pictures of him preparing to snort some sort of white powder were published.
The Suns traded Bennell for his involvement in an altercation in September of 2015 on the Gold Coast.
Bennell was taken with the second pick of the 2010 national draft and has played 83 senior games. His best season was 2012, when he tallied over 500 disposals and kicked 25 goals.
A case of talent being drowned by alcohol, it might seem.