WEST COAST is pleased with the way troubled rookie Murray Newman has applied himself to pre-season training as his impending court case looms.
The 20-year-old is due in Western Australia's District Court on December 16 to face charges of causing grievous bodily harm following an alleged incident in a Perth nightclub in November 2012.
Newman endured a difficult 2013. Having played four AFL matches in his debut year, the midfielder had a horror 2013 pre-season including finishing behind former coach John Worsfold in a 2km time-trial.
He was granted leave from the club in July after departing a WAFL match at quarter-time citing personal issues.
The Eagles delisted Newman in October but committed to re-drafting him in the rookie draft and West Coast football operations manager Craig Vozzo said the club was delighted with Newman's attitude throughout the process.
"We've been really pleased with the way he presented at the commencement of pre-season and his effort in pre-season," Vozzo said exclusively to AFL.com.au.
"So that's tracking nicely. With his off-field position it's obviously challenging but you wouldn't know that now.
"He's been really happy, putting his head down and throwing himself into his work.
"So I'm sure there's some anxiety there around what's happening with the legal process but you wouldn't know that from the way he's conducted himself at the footy club. We're very pleased with him."
Vozzo believes Newman's time away from the club in the second-half of the season, following the WAFL walk-out, was important for his mental state and also gave the Eagles the chance to review their handling of his situation.
"We think it was pretty critical to just balance him out and get a clear head which was going to take a bit of time," Vozzo said.
"We weren't too fussed with the (walk-out) itself. It was something that we should have foreseen in advance so that we could avoid it.
"But nonetheless we live and learn. I think it was really important to help support him so he could have a clear head and a clear mind."
Vozzo says the club has committed to help Newman no matter the outcome of his court appearance.
"The club will support him through the process," Vozzo said."We know there's risks involved with what he's about to go through, so we take it one day at a time just like he is."