Suns gun awaits his fate

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 02 Januari 2013 | 14.43

Harley Bennell during a Gold Coast Suns recovery session at Kurrawa beach, Broadbeach. Picture: Brendan Radke Source: Gold Coast Bulletin

GOLD Coast youngster Harley Bennell has saved himself from a severe club penalty after a night out with friends in Western Australia turned ugly.

Bennell was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and failure to obey an order given by a police officer after a large New Year's melee in his hometown of Mandurah, south of Perth.

He will front court on January 15.

The Suns will convene a meeting of the senior administrators and leadership group to determine if Bennell will get a club sanction once he has faced court.

However, the blow for officials has been softened by a phone call Bennell made to Suns football manager Marcus Ashcroft, who is holidaying in Hawaii.

Bennell immediately alerted Ashcroft to the incident and issued an apology for his actions.

Twelve months ago, the former No.2 draft pick would have switched his phone off and gone to ground.

The last time he found himself in a minor spot of trouble back in Perth, when he was present at the scene of a misdemeanour, he did not contact the club and when they tracked him down he only released details that had already been made public.

But this time he has been in regular contact with Ashcroft and other administrators and the Suns are confident he provided full disclosure of events.

The 20-year-old was with friends when a series of fights broke out when nightclubs shut, sending hundreds of revellers into the nearby Smart St mall, where police were called at around 2.15am.

Bennell was arrested and taken to Mandurah police station, where he was charged and released on bail.
The Suns released a brief statement confirming the incident.

"As this is a police matter the club is not in a position to make further comment," the statement said.

Friends of the footballer said he had been trying to break up the fight.

Bennell has played 36 matches for the Suns since being recruited from Perth club Peel Thunder in the 2010 national draft.

He is the second WA-bred player to get into trouble at home during the off-season break.

Young Collingwood midfielder Marley Williams was charged with assault after an incident in Albany last week that left a man with a broken jaw.

- with Stivan Pucar

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