McVeigh suspended for missing training - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McVeigh suspended for missing training

30/06/2009 10:46:13 PM Comments (0)

Midfielder Mark McVeigh's hopes of ever captaining Essendon are in tatters after he was dumped by the club for Friday night's blockbuster against Collingwood for disciplinary reasons.

McVeigh - who was unavailable for last week's win over arch-rivals Carlton due to a one-week suspension for striking Melbourne's Jared Rivers - was out socialising late on Sunday night, causing him to miss a compulsory training session the following morning.

He was understood to have been drinking alcohol.

The 28-year-old was set to return to the Bombers' side in place of the injured Jobe Watson for Friday night's game at the MCG.

Essendon coach Matthew Knights refused to confirm that McVeigh had been drinking, but was furious after the player contacted the club to say he would be unable to attend training.

"Mark unfortunately was out socialising on Sunday and missed a training session on Monday and obviously that being the case his preparation has been hindered for this Friday night's game," Knights said on Tuesday.

"Mark will be playing in the VFL and regaining some form and fitness there.

"It is disappointing because Mark's a quality player and this year he's taken a while to get going because of injury.

"... I always tell my players we've got 46 on the list and they can all play - I'm not fussed about who I put out there because I know they'll do the club proud when they go out there.

"It's one of those things we've just got to work through and deal with."

Knights admitted that McVeigh had to regain some respect from his teammates after his indiscretion.

The other members of the leadership group endorsed the decision to suspend him for the clash with the Magpies.

"He made a choice, he chose a path and he missed a training session which is important for Friday night's build-up," said Knights.

"That's basically the reality of it all and we just get on with it all now.

"... I sat with the leadership group and we discussed it as a footy club and thought that was the best way to go.

"It's just vital, whether you're a first-year player or second-year player or a champion of the football club, if you're not going to get the trademark right, you're not going to get that professionalism right to prepare yourself to play.

"We're not going to pull any punches with anyone."

Although current skipper Matthew Lloyd is certain to play on for at least one more year, McVeigh had been touted as a leading contender to be the club's next captain, along with the likes of Watson and ruckman David Hille.

But the latest off-field incident must have harmed McVeigh's chances of ever being appointed captain.

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