Elijah Hollands in action during the 2023 VFL Grand Final between Gold Coast and Werribee. Picture: AFL Photos

CARLTON recruit Elijah Hollands has avoided a criminal conviction after admitting to cocaine possession.

Hollands appeared in Southport Magistrates Court on Tuesday when he pleaded guilty to one drug possession charge.

The court was told his wallet was found in The Star casino with less than 1g of cocaine inside.

He was placed on a two-year good behaviour bond and ordered to attend a drug diversion program.

Elijah Hollands in action during Gold Coast's VFL qualifying final against Brisbane on September 2, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"I made a mistake that I'm extremely remorseful for," the 21-year-old said outside court.

"It's not only impacted me but my family as well and I'd like to thank both the Carlton club and the Gold Coast Suns for their continued support over the last few weeks."

Hollands moved from the Suns to Carlton during the recent trade period.

The incident came to light earlier this month, with the Blues saying they knew about the upcoming court case when they recruited him.

"Elijah made a mistake, had been up front with us prior to joining the club regarding this situation and has taken full ownership of what was a poor decision," Carlton GM of Football Brad Lloyd said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The strong leadership our club has will allow Elijah to enter our environment with the support he needs and just like any player who walks through our doors, he will get to work on earning the respect of his teammates from day one of pre-season training."

Elijah Hollands at Gold Coast training in July, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

The AFL Integrity Unit has been conducting its own investigation.

Hollands, the No.7 pick in the 2020 National Draft, was contracted to the end of 2024 at Gold Coast but has struggled for opportunities at the Suns, playing just 14 games since being drafted.

The 21-year-old arrives at the Blues after a standout performance in the VFL Grand Final, finishing with a brilliant 33 disposals, 10 tackles and eight clearances in a premiership win.

He joins his brother Ollie at Carlton, a first-round pick in his own right, who made a big impact in his debut season this year.