Main content

Bennell banished from Dockers, cops huge fine

Harley Bennell has been sanctioned by Fremantle - AFL,Fremantle Dockers,Harley Bennell
Harley Bennell has been sanctioned by Fremantle

FREMANTLE has ordered Harley Bennell to train away from the club for two months and fined the troubled midfielder $15,000 (with $5,000 suspended) following a nightclub altercation that involved an "excessive amount of alcohol".

Bennell will be required to undertake ongoing counselling after the incident, which saw him involved in a late night scuffle with security guards at Fremantle nightspot club 189. 

The 25-year-old also missed the Dockers' first training session of the new year after the Sunday night incident, with football manager Chris Bond declaring he had failed to meet the club's expected standards.

"In this instance, he consumed an excessive amount of alcohol the day before a training session," Bond said in a club statement. 

"In addition to a $15,000 fine, Harley will not train at the club for the next eight weeks and also continue ongoing counselling to assist him with making better decisions in off-field situations.

"Harley will train with (WAFL club) Peel during that period and will also be required to undertake and complete a separate training program set by our strength and conditioning staff."

Bennell was fined $10,000 (with $5,000 suspended) after bizarre behaviour while attending a Peel Thunder match last year, and he was asked to leave a flight to Gold Coast in a separate incident for being intoxicated.

The Dockers stopped short of publicly declaring the former Sun was on his last chance, despite a growing list of off-field indiscretions, but Bond said he would need to earn the right to re-join the AFL program. 

"Whilst we have set an eight-week time frame for when Harley can return to the club and train with his teammates, ultimately that will be determined by Harley’s future actions, how he responds to the measures we have put in place and whether he can consistently meet and display the standards expected by the club and the playing group," he said.

Fremantle met with the management of club 189 on Tuesday after Channel Seven broadcast vision of Bennell in a scuffle with the bar's security guards at approximately 11.45pm AWST on Sunday night.

The Dockers returned to pre-season training the following morning with Bennell absent.

The talented but injury-prone star has previously been ordered to undertake counselling by the Dockers since arriving at the club via trade at the end of 2015.

Harley Bennell career timeline

2010: Becomes the second player picked by Gold Coast – behind overall No.1 selection David Swallow – at the NAB AFL Draft ahead of the club's inaugural season. 

2011: Bennell plays 14 games and kicks 14 goals in his debut season but is dropped after his second game for disciplinary reasons. 

2012: Plays every game, highlighted by a 37-possession and three-goal game against Fremantle in round six, and a 38-disposal, four-goal effort against Melbourne in round 19. 

2013 and '14: Hamstring and calf problems surface and Bennell is restricted to 15 games in each season. Boots 6.3 and has 27 touches in a victory over Geelong in round 14, 2014.

May 2015: Was dropped alongside Trent McKenzie and Brandon Matera for breaching team standards and drinking alcohol after a QClash win over the Lions.

July 2015: Photographs taken in 2013 emerge of Bennell with a white powder, alleged to be illicit drugs. 

September 2015: The Suns put Bennell up for trade after he was involved in an incident with a nightclub bouncer at Surfers Paradise. 

October 2015: Bennell is traded to Fremantle and signs a three-year deal. The Dockers received the troubled star and pick 22 in exchange for selections 16 and 35. 

2016: Stars with four goals for Peel in round one of the WAFL season but tears his calf. Fails to make it back for the rest of the season after a string of setbacks. 

November 2016: Hurts his "good" left calf at training and is sent to Germany for specialist treatment. 

April 2017: Dockers reveal Bennell's latest calf strain is worse than first thought and rule him out for two months. He is granted club leave but runs into trouble when he is asked to leave a flight to Gold Coast for being intoxicated.

May 2017: Is fined $10,000 – half suspended – by the Dockers and ordered to undergo counselling after bizarre behaviour while attending a Peel game. 

July 2017: Makes long-awaited return to football for the Thunder, booting a goal from 12 touches, in his first game for 16 months.

August 2017: Plays his first AFL game in two years, kicking two goals from six disposals in a successful comeback against eventual premier Richmond. He also played a week later.

January 2018: Involved in a nightclub altercation with security staff in Fremantle that involved an "excessive amount of alcohol". He also fails to attend training the following day. Ordered to train away from the club for two months and is fined $15,000 (with $5,000 suspended).