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No regrets over Bennell recruitment

No regrets over Bennell recruitment

BY WARREN BARNSLEY

FREMANTLE is weighing up punishment for wayward AFL star Harley Bennell as coach Ross Lyon defends his recruitment.

Lyon says the club is still establishing facts around his weekend indiscretion where he was asked to leave a flight from Melbourne to Gold Coast shortly after boarding.

Bennell, who was embroiled in several off-field controversies at former club Gold Coast, has proven a significant trade disappointment for the Dockers.

Persistent calf injuries have kept him from making his debut for the club since joining at the end of 2015.

Lyon was circumspect about the 24-year-old’s situation.

“He’s been through a fair bit – 60 weeks of rehab … we haven’t been able to get it (his injuries) right,” Lyon told the Seven Network.

“A young man with challenges, it’s very difficult to hold yourself together for that amount of time with that level of frustration.

“It’s not an excuse but it’s contributing factors here.”

The Dockers had been hopeful Bennell would regain fitness early in the season but he suffered yet another calf injury this month which will sideline him for up to 10 weeks.

It is unclear why Bennell was travelling to the Gold Coast, although the Dockers said he had been on approved leave since last Friday.

Lyon said the club would sit down with the midfielder-forward as it contemplates action, but Saturday’s flight incident wasn’t symptomatic of misbehaviour at the Dockers.

“Everyone gets a fresh opportunity. We’ve got a growth mindset and he’s been very good since he’s been here,” Lyon said.

“No, there’s no regrets here.

“We’re disappointed at a level. That goes beyond me and we’ll have discussions with Harley.

“We’re all responsible for our own life and happiness and it’s a decision that he’s going to wish he was in better shape.”

© AAP 2017

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