Tom Boyd’s drunken bust-up with Western Bulldogs teammate Zaine Cordy was a turning point for the young forward, according to stand-in captain Easton Wood.
The $6 million recruit was suspended indefinitely by the Bulldogs over the incident in June, but earned a recall to the side before eventually playing a key role in their grand final win over Sydney.
“I think that was a big turning point for Tom and he learnt a lot about himself,” Wood told the RSN Breakfast radio program on Thursday.
“His growth since that time has been amazing … his demeanour and his willingness to be open and explore his game and explore himself as a person.
“It’s no surprise to us … how his form has improved off the back of that as well.”
Boyd was reported to have lashed out at Cordy after his close friend poured beer on him while he tied his shoelaces during a long drinking session.
The 21-year-old, who was taken from Greater Western Sydney at the end of 2014 on a seven-year deal in exchange for captain Ryan Griffen and the No. 6 draft pick, went a long way towards justifying his hefty contract with a standout grand final performance.
Boyd placed third in the Norm Smith medal voting after booting three goals and taking six important contested marks, earning praise from coach Luke Beveridge.
“I’m just so happy for him with all of the external pressure that’s come his way through nothing that was in his control,” Beveridge said..
“We talk about what’s going to happen with him as he progresses at AFL level with his physical capability … he’s going to continue to blossom.
“When we needed our players to find their very best performance he found his in a grand final – it was amazing.”