The Western Bulldogs say Bailey Smith’s suspension attributable to taking illicit medicine throughout the low season final yr may have little affect on his contract negotiations with the membership.
Smith, who’s serving an AFL ban for “conduct unbecoming”, is one among numerous Bulldogs stars out of contract on the finish of the season.
Regardless of the latest off-field drama, Smith’s on-field manufacturing has been wonderful this season, with the 21-year-old averaging a career-best 31.6 disposals per recreation in 10 appearances for the Bulldogs.
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In response to Western Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains, Smith’s indiscretions from final summer time may have little bearing on his future with the membership.
“We do not assume it ought to have an excessive amount of affect in (contract negotiations),” he instructed 3AW’s Sportsday.
“We had made a good bit of progress along with his supervisor, Paul Connors, within the final two to a few weeks, so hopefully that momentum can maintain going.
“The necessary half is … the incident was from final yr. Whereas the membership did not have any data of any imaginative and prescient being in existence till it got here to our consideration final weekend, that interval that Bailey was coping with late final yr that led to the poor decision-making was one thing we knew about and handled on the time.
“To his credit score, he is put numerous issues in place during the last six to eight months to cope with that, and his on-field efficiency has mirrored that.”
Bains admitted it was “arduous to know” how most of the membership’s gamers can be concerned in comparable conditions to Smith’s throughout their very own off-seasons.
“You get a stage of perception into what occurs at your personal membership, so you might be conscious such a behaviour does exist, significantly within the low season,” he mentioned.
“I believe we might be naive to assume that given the societal points dealing with 18-25-year-old women and men and what they rise up to socially that our enjoying cohort would not be caught up in that, significantly of their low season. Nevertheless it’s very troublesome to be exact concerning the numbers.”
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