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Bock suspended by Crows, on last chance

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Bock suspended by Crows, on last chance

Post by CJCorka on Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:28 am

All-Australian defender Nathan Bock has been suspended indefinitely by Adelaide and told a repeat transgression would see him kicked out of the AFL club after he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend on Saturday night.

The Crows acted swiftly and firmly to sanction Bock on Monday, despite the fact he is not due to face court to answer charges of assault and damage until June.

While details of the incident itself remain sketchy, it is accepted that Bock had been drinking since mid-afternoon on Saturday and that his altercation with Carlie Matthews, which took place about 12am according to Crows chief executive Steven Trigg, was bad enough to attract a harsh club penalty before the legal avenue had been fully travelled.

Adelaide are hyper-conscious of the incident's clear breach of AFL policy on the appropriate treatment of women, and also of the damage caused by having a misbehaving senior player at a club where the playing list is the youngest it has been for some time.

In addition to being ruled ineligible to play until his peers are content that Bock has changed his attitude and behaviour - he will definitely miss this weekend's match against Fremantle and may be out for longer - the 2008 club champion has been fined $5,000 and committed to 50 hours of community service at a women's shelter.

He will also undergo counselling for anger management, alcohol use and lifestyle.

Bock fronted the media on Monday to offer a public apology for his actions at the same time as his sanction was announced.

"First and foremost I deeply regret my actions on Saturday night, and want to apologise to my girlfriend Carlie and to her family for an embarrassment and hurt I caused them," he said.

"I also apologise to my family and friends, the Adelaide Football club, its players, staff sponsors and supporters.

"I'm deeply disappointed in my behaviour, and I acknowledge the fact that as an Adelaide football player, we are looked upon as role models in the community and I will endeavour to regain any respect I have lost.

"The course of action put together by the club and the players is something I will adhere to, and I will make the utmost effort to change my behaviour.

"It is out of character for me, and I accept the fact I will need to do some work in areas of managing my behaviour while drinking, to ensure a situation like this won't occur again."

Trigg said that Bock's previously unblemished record had given him a reprieve from facing harsher sanctions, but warned he was on his last chance.

"He has no history of this, there was no indication of any prior behaviour that would lead to this situation, so at this point in time he gets our support," Trigg said.

"A repeat of the situation would put his position at our club in very serious jeopardy and I suspect across the competition as well.

"He knows the consequences of it happening again are going to be very dire."

Adelaide football operations manager John Reid and Trigg spent time on the phone to AFL heavies Adrian Anderson and Andrew Demetriou to ensure that the club's course of action matched league policy on behaviour off the field and to women.

"I have no problem with collaborating with the AFL on player behaviour issues, but I'm very strong on the fact that we're responsible for managing the players," Trigg said.

"We have the facts, they don't."

"We have the understanding of the player, they don't, and we should be the ones who are managing it.

"They should reserve the right to act if they don't think the club is acting strongly enough."

http://wwos.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=798070
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