Turner must earn respect back at AFL club

North Melbourne’s Kayne Turner will have to earn back the respect of AFL teammates, having been charged with drink-driving then slapped with a four-week ban.

North’s leadership group met on Monday, agreeing a month-long suspension would be an appropriate punishment for Turner.

Turner is currently recovering from a hamstring injury and the ban won’t start until he is fully fit, meaning he is unlikely to be available until round 17.

He will be permitted to play VFL during the suspension.

Turner fronted teammates on Monday, explaining how disappointed he was with his actions after recording a blood-alcohol reading of .133 on Sunday morning.

The 20-year-old is still on his probationary licence.

Lindsay Thomas noted Turner had a lot of work to do this year but backed his fellow small forward to regain the trust of everyone at North.

“He’ll just have to get the respect back from the boys and the coaching staff, just by the way he trains and the way he conducts himself around the footy club,” Thomas said on Monday.

“He’s let the playing group down … he’s disappointed in his actions and the mistake he made.

“I’ve had a lot to do with Kayne over the last couple of years … he’s a great kid.

“Everyone makes mistakes and obviously he’s made one he will regret but knowing the person that Kayne is, he’ll move on and he’ll learn from it.

“Kayne will cop his whack from the leadership group … he’ll come back and play some good footy for us.”

The incident has overshadowed the lead-up to North’s blockbuster SCG clash with Sydney on Friday night.

“It’s going to be a massive challenge for us,” Thomas said of the Swans.

“They’re playing some really great football.”

Thomas was upbeat Daniel Wells will return from a sore achilles in a boost for the undefeated Kangaroos.

Thomas and Wells helped launch the club’s Reconciliation Action Plan on Monday, a formal set of guidelines that is effectively a commitment to reconciliation.

“The last couple of years we’ve really made a focus of it at this footy club,” Thomas said.

“It’s definitely a proud moment in my career to be involved in (North’s Reconciliation Action Plan).

“I feel like I have to give back. I’m a very proud Aboriginal person.”

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