MELBOURNE recruit Harley Bennell pledged to give up alcohol in order to win a lifeline at the Demons and avoid previous off-field dramas that have plagued his AFL career.
The former Sun and Docker was handed a rookie contract in January despite playing just two matches in four seasons.
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As revealed in the second episode of Melbourne's pre-season documentary To Hell and Back, to be released at 7pm on Sunday night, Bennell delivered some truths to Demons officials before starting with the club.
The 27-year-old was asked by list boss Tim Lamb how he'd cope with not consuming alcohol during his training block with the Demons.
"Fine (with that)," Bennell replied. "(I) put my hand on my heart with that."
Bennell's time at Gold Coast and Fremantle, which netted 83 AFL games, was hindered by a series of calf setbacks and alcohol-fuelled incidents.
Bennell told AFL.com.au in 2015 alcohol had impacted his decision to use illicit drugs as a Sun in 2013, before he was kicked off a flight in 2017 and banished from the Dockers in 2018, both due to alcohol-fuelled behaviour.
In the meeting that also included head of football Josh Mahoney, recruiting boss Jason Taylor and assistant Alan Richardson, coach Simon Goodwin said the Demons would wrap their arms around Bennell.
"I don't really care about what's happened in the past. What I need to know is that you're going to try and do everything you can, so it doesn’t happen in the future," Goodwin said.
"People make mistakes all the time and they get to a point in life where they say, 'I'm going to make some genuine change' and they try and make a career out of something.
"I guess that's why we're sitting here today, because if you walk into our environment, you will get all the support, you'll get all the love, you'll get all the environment that'll help make you thrive."
Harley from beyond the boundary.??— Melbourne Demons (@melbournefc) January 29, 2020
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Bennell was also quizzed on how much football he watched, which led to a conversation about Richmond's 2019 premiership victory.
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"After the Grand Final, I had to leave before the siren went," Bennell said.
"We watched it at my brother's house. I went back home and just seeing (former Suns teammates) Josh Caddy, Dion Prestia and Tom Lynch, I actually went home and started tearing up.
"Because they're in Grand Finals, they're playing in Grand Finals and I'm injured, no contract – nothing."
The second episode of To Hell and Back can be seen from 7pm AEDT on Melbourne's website, social media channels and AFL.com.au.
It includes Goodwin addressing mistakes made in 2019, midfielder Aaron vandenBerg's road to recovery and fitness boss Darren Burgess' tough love with his new players.
It follows the first instalment in which former captain Nathan Jones revealed he contemplated retirement at the end of a disastrous 2019 campaign.