Docker Bennell involved in nightclub incident
Dockers star Harley Bennell FREMANTLE star Harley Bennell's AFL career could be in jeopardy after allegations he was involved in a nightclub altercation on Sunday night. The Dockers will meet with the management of Fremantle nightspot club 189 on Tuesday after Channel Seven broadcast vision of a man, believed to be Bennell, involved in a scuffle with the bar's security guards.
It is understood the management of the bar was not overly troubled by the incident as it prepared to meet with Fremantle. AFL.com.au also understands Bennell, 25, was not at training on Monday as the Dockers returned from their Christmas break. Fremantle officials are aware of "a matter involving a player at a licensed premises".
"The club is making enquiries and will be in a position to comment further when that process is completed," the statement read. Dockers coach Ross Lyon has stood by Bennell despite the No.2 pick from the 2010 NAB AFL Draft repeatedly making headlines for his off-field behaviour. Bennell was also involved in a nightclub incident with a security guard in Surfers Paradise while still playing for Gold Coast in September 2015.
The Suns traded him to Fremantle at the end of that year, following earlier transgressions with alcohol and the emergence of a photo where Bennell is seen with a white powder. Persistent calf problems thwarted Bennell's bid to re-establish himself back home in Western Australia, before he found himself in more trouble in April last year. The Dockers granted him leave after another calf strain, only for him to be asked to leave a flight bound for the Gold Coast due to being intoxicated.
Bennell also received a £10,000 fine from the club - half of which was suspended - and was ordered to undergo counselling after some bizarre behaviour at a Peel Thunder game in May. He still managed to make his long-awaited return to football in the WAFL in July for Thunder and went on to play for Fremantle in rounds 22 and 23 after missing the entire 2016 season.
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: Allegedly involved in a nightclub altercation with security staff in Fremantle.
Was not at training the following day and career appears in doubt.