Greater Western Sydney may not like what Toby Greene got up to on a night out drinking earlier this year, but they are backing their midfielder, offering Greene a contract extension until the end of 2018.
The midfielder, who copped a $2500 fine in the Melbourne Magistrates Court last week after pleading guilty over an ugly pub brawl, has signed a contract extension with the club. He was originally contracted until 2015.
The 21-year-old, the no.11 pick in the 2011 draft, has played 53 games for the Giants.
He has averaged 28 disposals in the 15 games he played this year, including 42 disposals against Collingwood in round 22.
Despite his football success, Greene’s reputation suffered after he was taken to court over his drunken violence at Zagame’s Caulfield restaurant in May.
After being told he and his friends would no longer be served alcohol, he punched the restaurant bouncer four times, twice to the upper body and head, reports say.
In addition to the court-imposed fine, he faced a $5000 penalty issued to him by the Giants, with a five-match suspension for drinking alcohol while injured and for failing to notify the club of his arrest.
He believes the incident had “helped build my character”.
“I reckon I’ve come off better for going through that,” he told the AFL website.
He said facing the playing group was “pretty hard at the start”. He also said missing games was difficult.
“There’s nothing worse than sitting there when you know you could be playing. That was pretty hard.
“I definitely want to be around here while we’re winning and if we can get our core group of boys to sign, I think we all know we’re going somewhere and everyone is pretty keen to stay around.”
General manager of football Graeme Allan said he believed Greene had reformed after the damaging incident.
“He has also shown a lot of character to fight his way back after an off-field issue this year and regain the respect of his teammates with his attitude on and off the field,” Allan said in a statement.
“Toby has become an integral part of the team but also admired around the club for his competitiveness and the way he goes about his football.”
In further news for the Giants, defender Tim Golds has extended his contract until the end of 2016. Golds played six games since he joined the club as a priority selection in 2011.
“While he has only played six games so far, Tim has a bright future and will have plenty of opportunities to establish a senior position in the years to come,” Allan said.
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