Harley Bennell is in the news for the all the wrong reasons once again.
Bennell is currently on club approved leave, after suffering a further setback in his recovery from an ongoing calf injury which has prevented him from playing a single game for the club since moving from the Suns at the end of 2015.
He is expected to be sidelined for at least another eight weeks due to the injury.
The Dockers released the following statement a short time ago confirming the news:
Fremantle can confirm that Harley Bennell was asked to leave a Virgin flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Bennell, who has suffered a series of calf injuries that have prevented him from playing for more than a year, has been on club approved leave since Friday.
The 24-year-old, who flew from Perth to Melbourne on Saturday, has told club officials that he had consumed alcohol the previous day and on the flight to Melbourne.
After arriving in Melbourne to await his flight to the Gold Coast, Bennell went to a cafe at the airport.
Shortly after boarding the Gold Coast flight he was asked to disembark by Virgin staff who believed he was affected by alcohol. Bennell cooperated with airline staff and returned to the Virgin Lounge.
Fremantle general manager of football operations Chris Bond said while the club was disappointed with the situation Bennell had placed himself in it would support the player.
“Due to a recurring injury problem which has prevented him from playing all of last year and now for the next eight to 10 weeks following another setback last week, Harley has been dealing with the frustration and disappointment of not being able to play AFL football,” Bond said.
“We are disappointed that Harley consumed alcohol to the extent that airline staff felt he was unfit to take the flight.
“Steve Rosich and I have been in regular contact yesterday and today with Harley, who will continue to assist Virgin and the AFL with any other enquiries they have.
“In the meantime, as a club it is important that we continue to support and provide guidance to Harley on how best to cope with the frustration and disappointment of not playing football.”