Gold Coast club officials believe the decision to punish midfielder Harley Bennell over alleged drug use has been accepted by the AFL club’s players.
Suns coach Rodney Eade says chief executive Andrew Travis addressed the players on Thursday after announcing Bennell’s punishment.
Bennell has been fined $5000 and given a three-match suspended ban after pictures of him allegedly using illicit drugs in a Tasmanian hotel in 2013 were published nationwide.
The 22-year-old, who has missed the past two games since the photos were published, will sit out Saturday’s match with Greater Western Sydney before being eligible to return in the round 17 clash with Adelaide next week.
“I think the players are okay with it all,” Eade said.
“It’s just about Harley’s actions going forward.
“It’s about every player. It’s about expectations and standards and we don’t expect more from him than anyone else.
“The players really want to see some action in that area.”
Eade said the players had not been distracted by the affair and there was no particular rush to confirm the punishments before the visit by the Giants.
He says the ball is now in Bennell’s court.
Bennell trained with his teammates on Friday and will play for the Suns’ reserves in the lower-tier NEAFL this weekend.
“In the past he’s trained pretty well anyway,” Eade said.
“Historically he’s a good trainer. It’s just all the little things that go along with that.
“Effort tomorrow, in the game, that’s all we want to see. We know he’s talented, it’s not so much his performance in terms of the quality but it’s about the effort.
“If there’s effort in his preparation, effort in his game, then there’s a fair chance he’ll be back in.”