West Coast’s exciting young forward Liam Ryan was under the influence of alcohol when he crashed his car into a tree at 6am last Monday.
Coach Adam Simpson revealed the details and said the 21-year-old will return to football this weekend but will play for East Perth in the WAFL before lining up for the Eagles again.
“Obviously he breached our code of conduct with our players trademark,” Simpson told Fox Footy.
“He was out too late and he was drinking, so we have to respect that he’s broken those codes of conduct, so he won’t play again this week.
“We need to look after his wellness and some of the things going on in his life that we’ve got to deal with.
“We’ll work through that, we’re here to support him.”
Teammate and leadership group member Jeremy McGovern says it’s been difficult for the club to sanction Ryan as the police are still investigating the incident.
“He knows he’s made a bit of a blue, which he has to deal with and we’ll help him out, but he hasn’t changed too much around the club. He’s still his bubbly self, which is good to see,” McGovern told AFL.com.au.
“It’s been a little bit difficult (for the leaders to deal with) because obviously there’s still a (police) investigation going on, so it’s hard for us to judge with anything.
“Our main priority is obviously Liam’s health and to make sure he’s OK, which he is at this stage.
“We’ll deal with the rest of it when we know exactly what’s going on.”
Despite Ryan not featuring in the Eagles’ line up this weekend, they are hopeful of having Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling, Mark LeCras and Tom Barrass all back in the side to face Collingwood at the MCG this weekend.
West Coast have lost three of their past four games while Kennedy and Darling have been out of the side and Simpson is eager to get them back into the team.
“If they’re available I think we’ll definitely look at them,” Simpson said.
“We’ve had to mix our forward line around the last few weeks. Just having so many players of that quality out of your front half, it’s been a challenge.
“The players we’ve had in the side have played their role as best they could, but some of them just weren’t training for that position throughout the year, so it will be good to get them back.”
West Coast will take on Collingwood at the MCG on Sunday afternoon in a massive clash that could determine who finishes second on the ladder for the season.