Bombers suspend Hurley for pre-season - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers suspend Hurley for pre-season

11/02/2010 08:26:48 PM Comments (0)

Michael Hurley's AFL pre-season suspension is only the start of Essendon's "broader response" to his assault charges.

The Bombers have banned the 19-year-old rising star from the NAB Cup and Challenge, meaning he will not be back in the senior side until round one of the regular season.

Hurley will return to court on March 5 in relation to five assault charges, following a late-night incident with a taxi driver in Melbourne last September.

"Club chief executive Ian Robson said the suspension was a significant sanction and will form one part of a broader response that would be announced soon," Essendon announced in a statement.

"He said Hurley and his lawyer are currently working through legal issues and that Essendon is working closely with the AFL on the matter."

Hurley is the latest AFL player to receive a club suspension after an off-field incident.

Earlier this week, Geelong suspended premiership forward Mathew Stokes until round eight of the regular season.

Stokes is facing charges of cocaine possession and trafficking.

The Cats have also demanded that Stokes gain full-time employment while banned from training with his teammates.

Carlton suspended Eddie Betts, Andrew Walker and Ryan Houlihan for the pre-season in the wake of the Blues players' notorious pre-Christmas "booze cruise".

Richmond draftee Troy Taylor will face court in Alice Springs on February 18 in relation to an alleged assault there on New Year's Eve.

The Tigers will not comment on Taylor until after his court appearance.

He is not currently under any club sanctions.

Essendon also took the same line with Hurley that Geelong did with Stokes, that the club suspension "does not speak" to the player's guilt or innocence in court.

"Michael made a serious mistake and he is extremely remorseful for his actions," Robson said.

"He accepts that the club has imposed this sanction, and will take further action, and he will continue to fully co-operate with police and the courts."

Hurley made his senior debut last year and has made a big impact in his 10 games.

He is regarded as one of Essendon's key players for the next decade.

His suspension follows the news this week that young key forward Scott Gumbleton has suffered another back injury, while ruckman David Hille will also miss Friday's NAB Cup opener against West Coast in Perth.

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