Collingwood coach Craig McRae has thrown his support behind Jordan De Goey and hopes the troubled star will remain at the AFL club next year.
De Goey was granted personal leave from the club on Wednesday, just a day after he was handed a suspended $25,000 fine for his antics in Bali.
The 26-year-old apologised for his disrespectful behaviour at a Bali nightclub, which included him tugging at a fellow partygoer's top in a bid to expose her breast.
After vision of that emerged on social media, the Magpies pulled the lucrative four-year deal they had on the table for De Goey.
Those contract talks have now been put on hold until the end of the season.
De Goey will become a free agent at season's end, but McRae wants the midfield star to stay.
"I hope so, I really do," McRae told SEN.
"I just want to get him back. I want to get my arms around him.
"I spoke to him yesterday, and he's not in the space to step back into the footy club right now. He's got to step through a few things first to get into the space where he can do that.
"But our footy club is a safe place for him and I want him to feel loved and supported."
De Goey was already on thin ice after being arrested while in New York last year on an end-of-season trip.
McRae said he knew of De Goey's plans to go to Bali during the mid-season break and he was ok with it.
"I want all our players to feel there's a level of trust to make their own decisions," McRae said.
"As long as I'm the coach I'm not going to say 'No, you're not going to do that'.
"My dad told me not to go to an 18th birthday once. I snuck out.
"You've got to trust people. We want to treat them like adults.
"He's got his management team and other people around him to help him make these decisions."
The Magpies were embroiled in further controversy this week when players Isaac Quaynor and Jack Ginnivan took part in a TikTok challenge in which they rated women out of 10.
McRae said he had approached female staff at Collingwood this week to check on their welfare following the recent incidents involving Magpies players.
"I can't help but feel this week we've lost a few battles in terms of what we want to be," McRae said.
"But I'm really determined to win the war on this and make our players better."
Australian Associated Press
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