Controversial Collingwood star Jordan De Goey has been given personal leave by the AFL club, with no time frame set on his return.
It comes a day after he was hit with a $25,000 suspended fine and he apologised for his “disrespectful” conduct while partying in Bali.
“Collingwood advise player Jordan De Goey has been granted personal leave by the club and will not take part in the round 15 match against GWS (on Sunday),” the club said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
“Jordan has been absent from training this week and the club will continue to support him on his return to the football program.”
Footage emerged on social media last week of De Goey, who was given permission by the club to travel to Bali on his mid-season break, making crude gestures while at a nightclub.
The fine is suspended through to the end of the season and dependent on good behaviour.
De Goey will also “undertake further behavioural education” in addition to an existing counselling program, but has avoided any suspension from playing duties.
Collingwood have also put contract talks with the 26-year-old, who is entering free agency, on hold until season’s end.
“The actions shown in the video footage are disrespectful and I accept that I have betrayed the trust the club showed in me by allowing me to take my mid-season break overseas,” De Goey said in a statement on Tuesday.
“My actions have fallen short of the standards expected of me as a person, as an AFL footballer and as a representative of Collingwood.
“I had worked hard this year to establish trust and confidence in me to make better decisions and through no one’s fault but my own, I have undone that trust.
“Again, I apologise for my disrespectful conduct. I understand that I have let many people down and that I have much work to do to again rebuild trust.”
Former Magpies president Eddie McGuire has since offered De Goey a staunch defence on Nine’s Footy Classified, urging the club to ‘wrap its arms around him’.
“I believe he should stay at Collingwood now,” McGuire said on Wednesday night.
“I hope my old club wraps its arms around him and that he gets a contract at the end of the year and he can set himself up to finish his career and to finish with something.
“He‘s basically been put on parole by the Collingwood Football Club until the end of the year.
McGuire also hit out at critics of De Goey’s admission of a struggle with ADHD, saying it was ‘over the odds’.
“I was reading today people saying he didn’t have any punishment, let me give you the tip – he’s been punished,” McGuire said.
“Some people might say, ‘so he should’. I’m not defending any of his actions by any stretch, but there is an element of fairness that comes into these types of things.
“The mockery that was made about what is quite a serious medical situation, one he’s been addressing for a fair while, was pretty over the odds.
“He’s copped at least a $100,000-$200,000 haircut on his next negotiation; whether it’s at St Kilda, who’ve been into him for a while, or Collingwood, or wherever he ends up.
“It’s been pretty tough on him.”
Collingwood chief executive Mark Anderson said on Tuesday that De Goey would speak in the next couple of days, but it is unclear whether this will now happen given the player is on leave.
The Bali incident comes after De Goey was stood down by the Magpies last October when he was arrested for a drunken incident at a New York nightclub.
The AFL is strongly pursuing music icon Robbie Williams to head up this year’s grand final entertainment, according to a report by the Herald Sun.
With the match expected to return to the MCG for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a multi-million dollar deal is said to be in the works for the 48-year old.
The past two grand finals have been headlined by Australian talent due to border restrictions, with Sheppard performing at the 2020 grand final in Brisbane while Abbe May, John Butler Trio and Baker Boy were the headline acts in last year’s big dance in Perth.
Should the league land the megastar, Williams would be arguably the biggest performer in the event’s chequered history.
Music greats from Tom Jones and Ed Sheeran to The Killers have been well received in recent years, but the much-maligned performance of Meat Loaf at the 2011 grand final prompted widespread derision, and convinced the league to focus on promoting Australian-only talents for the next few years.
North Melbourne great and current club runner Brent Harvey has offered a staunch defence of young gun Jason Horne-Francis’ much-publicised refusal to recommit to the club
Rumours have swirled that the number one draft pick is eyeing a move home to South Australia once his mandatory two-year deal with the Roos expires at the end of next season, with the talented teenager putting off contract negotiations.
Speaking on Channel 7’s The Al and Lingy Show, Harvey, the AFL’s games record holder with 432 matches for the Roos, said while he believes Horne-Francis will remain at the club, he can’t blame him for not signing now.
“Why would he want to sign? He’s probably our fifth-best player now, he’s going to be our second or third-best player next year,” Harvey said.
“That’s dollar signs straight away to his manager. He’d be silly to sign the contract.
“Do we want him to sign? Of course we do as a football club, but his manager would be a silly bugger to make him sign right now.”
Harvey’s remarks have quickly caused a stir, with former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon suggesting on Nine’s Footy Classified ‘Boomer’ would be quickly reprimanded by the Kangaroos.
“What would you say if your runner said that at your football club about your star player at a time when your club’s at a lowest ebb?” host Eddie McGuire asked Lyon.
“I think it’d be, ‘we need to have a talk son’,” Lyon responded.