Bennell sweats on Suns leaders for recall - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bennell sweats on Suns leaders for recall

Darren Cartwright 06/07/2011 03:26:13 PM Comments (0)

Out-of-favour young Gold Coast forward Harley Bennell could return for the home AFL clash with Sydney on Saturday if he can get the blessing of skipper Gary Ablett and his fellow leaders.

Bennell has been banished to the seconds since failing to return in time after the round 11 clash with West Coast in Perth.

The former West Australian arrived back on the Gold Coast a day and half late and missed a recovery and a training session claiming he was homesick.

He has since moved in with Karmichael Hunt and has been told he needs to prove he has the right attitude and hunger for the game before he will be selected.

Suns coach Guy McKenna said there was no questioning Bennell's ability but he will only select him if the leadership group says he is ready for a recall.

"His performance the past two weeks has been good (in the seconds), but to be honest even if they were poor it wouldn't matter," McKenna said on Wednesday.

"It was more about him buying into the program.

"We know he's got the talent, it's about his character buying into the program.

"If I get the tap on the shoulder from Gaz and the boys I'm sure he'll be in line for selection."

Besides Bennell's availability being up in the air, McKenna has other selection worries heading into the match against Sydney.

Seasoned campaigners Josh Fraser (foot) and Michael Rischitelli (hamstring) and Danny Stanley (knee) Sam Ilies (foot) are in doubt and he is also trying to protect a number of his younger players from fatigue in their first season.

"Rischitelli, Fraser, Ilies, Stanley - there's a few that have question marks and will have to get through training and make sure they pull up well tomorrow to make sure they're good to go because we know Sydney is going to be a bruising affair," McKenna said.

McKenna said he has not given up hope of selecting Gary Ablett's younger brother and 2007 premiership forward Nathan before the end of the season.

He said Nathan was starting to show form in the reserves but needed to keep improving to be seriously considered for his first match with the Suns.

Like Bennell, McKenna said Nathan's drawback was more his mental application than his ability.

"His last three weeks have been better," McKenna said.

"There's nine games to go, so if he puts his head down and shows us for two or three weeks that he wants to play and can play senior footy, if he does he'll be in line for selection.

"Just an attitude thing.

"His ability to come out and hit the ball as a forward and obviously defend as a forward as an AFL forward is expected to defend. There's been progression in that over the last month of footy for him."

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