Bennell set for Suns AFL return

Disgraced Gold Coast midfielder Harley Bennell’s AFL exodus looks set to come to an end next week against Adelaide.

The 22-year-old picked up 37 disposals and kicked one goal in a well-beaten team as he made his return to football for the Suns’ reserves on Saturday.

While the Suns were thrashed by the NEAFL’s table-topping UWS Giants 23.20 (158) to 3.10 (28) at Metricon Stadium, Eade was pleased with Bennell’s performance.

It was Bennell’s first game since he was stood down in the wake of photos being published nationwide of him appearing to use an illicit substance in a Tasmanian hotel room in 2013.

On Thursday, Bennell was fined $5000 and given a suspended three-game ban by the club.

Since the scandal broke, Bennell has missed the Suns past three AFL fixtures but Eade says he’ll be in the reckoning to play the Crows.

“You judge players on their persistence and Harley’s had 30-odd possessions,” Eade said.

“There’s parts of his game he needs to work on but I thought generally he played pretty well and worked hard.

“I think, at this stage, he’ll play next week.”

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