PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: Harley Bennell of the Dockers looks on during the NAB Challenge match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Geelong Cats at Domain Stadium on March 12, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Ross Lyon backs Bennell recruitment

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has thrown his support behind the club’s decision to recruit Harley Bennell at the end of 2015, as the Dockers are now weighing up possible punishments for the wayward star.

Bennell was asked to leave a flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast on Saturday due to intoxication, although the club are seeking further details before reprimanding the 24-year-old.

The silky midfielder is still yet to make an appearance for the Dockers, after injuries cruelled his 2016 campaign, and calf problems have continued this season, with Bennell set to miss the next 10 weeks with the injury.

“He’s been through a fair bit – 60 weeks of rehab … we haven’t been able to get it (his injuries) right,” Lyon told Channel Seven.

“A young man with challenges, it’s very difficult to hold yourself together for that amount of time with that level of frustration.

“It’s not an excuse but it’s contributing factors here.”

Lyon said the club would sit down with Bennell soon and discuss a suitable punishment, but the Dockers coach refrained from saying the recruitment of the former Gold Coast star was an errant one.

“Everyone gets a fresh opportunity. We’ve got a growth mindset and he’s been very good since he’s been here,” Lyon said.

“No, there’s no regrets here (about his recruitment).

“We’re disappointed at a level. That goes beyond me and we’ll have discussions with Harley.

“We’re all responsible for our own life and happiness and it’s a decision that he’s going to wish he was in better shape.”

Comments