Richmond veteran Jack Riewoldt is backing embattled teammate Sydney Stack as the small forward prepares to make another court appearance in the coming days.
Stack is currently due in a Perth court next week, after spending the festive period in jail after being arrested on December 19 for allegedy breaking Western Australia’s strict COVID-19 quarantine rules.
Riewoldt said it was disappointing to hear the 20-year-old had been in trouble over the off-season, but wasn’t going to “give up” on the talented forward.
"It's been hard for the club to be in touch with him because he's been in jail for the holiday period,” he told reporters on Monday.
“It is disappointing as a senior player when someone finds themself in trouble, but when we engaged Sydney to come to our football club we weren't under an illusion that he was going to come in and it was going to be a really smooth transition.
"We expected that we were going to have some small issues with him. When you take on a young man like Sydney, who wasn't and hasn't been afforded a lot of the luxuries that a lot of Australian children grow up with, you know it's going to be a project.
"So we're not going to give up on Sydney Stack. He is a young man that has got a lot of issues, he has a lot of potential, but most importantly now we put the football side of things to one side and we actually want to continue to grow him as a young man because he's got some fantastic traits."
Stack has been at the club since early 2019, where he was picked up as a pre-season supplementary player.
He was embroiled in controversy in 2020, where Stack alongside teammate Callum Coleman-Jones was sent home from Richmond’s hub in Queensland after breaking COVID-19 protocols, with both players still having four matches of their 10-game ban to serve in 2021.
Stack has played 26 games for the Tigers in two years.