Collingwood vice-captain Taylor Adams admits striking the right balance between supporting and punishing teammate Jordan De Goey, following his drink driving misdemeanour has been challenging.
The 21-year-old had been banished to train with the VFL squad and find employment away from the club, after being blowing nearly twice the legal limit last month.
Adams told SEN Breakfast that while part of him wanted to “kill” De Goey for the embarrassment he brought to the club, understanding about his mental wellbeing was a key consideration.
“It’s actually difficult to talk about, because when you sit in that room, and you just want to kill him, because he made the club look so bad, and made a huge error,” he said.
“At the same time you really care about him, and you feel a bit sorry for him.
“The error that he made was horrendous, but you’ve also got to worry about the kid and (whether) he’s okay mentally.”
He said it was important the club sent a strong message about acceptable behaviour, particularly as it was De Goey second major incident within a year.
“Jordy’s made a couple of mistakes in recent years, and this last one we saw as a really, really big error of judgement, a decision that he made that was very poor.
“I think most people agree we came down really hard on him as a leadership group, and a footy department.
“On the other side of that, because he’s one of our mates, you’ve got to care for the bloke who is 21 years old, he’s made a blue and no-one is shying way form that.”
De Goey is set to return to the club within the next fortnight, and Adams said there will be no issues from his teammates.
“He’s copped his whack. He’s due back at the club in two Monday’s time and we’ll welcome him with open arms,” he said.
“He’s going to be a good player for us if he gets his stuff sorted out off-field. Look, I’m sort of a bit over it now.
“I want the kid to do the best he can.”