AAP image/Linda Higginson
North Melbourne utility Tarryn Thomas will return to the AFL club by training with their VFL team, with the Kangaroos declaring his future lies in his own hands.
The 23-year-old’s career has been hanging in the balance as he was indefinitely stood down last month by the Kangaroos for a second time amid concerns over his behaviour towards women.
North have also fined Thomas $5000 for a video he posted to social media last week that showed him behind the wheel of his Mercedes with his feet on the dashboard as the vehicle drifted between two lanes.
A further $5000 will be donated to a road safety charity.
The Kangaroos said they had received advice that Thomas, who has been in respectful behaviour programs, would benefit from being in a structured environment.
Consequently, Thomas will train with the Kangaroos’ VFL program from Tuesday while working part-time, but will only be able to play “should he make adequate progress” towards meeting club expectations on and off the field.
North said a return to the AFL program was dependent on Thomas continuing to commit to improve his attitude and behaviour.
“Based on expert advice, supported by our own observations, and after building a new plan that will see him working and training with our VFL program, we’ll provide Tarryn with the structure he needs to give him every opportunity to demonstrate the required standards of behaviour,” chief executive Jennifer Watt said in a statement.
“Tarryn has now been away from the club for a total of eight weeks across this year and he has engaged in a series of education and training programs during that time.
“We have made it clear to Tarryn that the future of his playing career at North Melbourne is in his hands.”
Thomas briefly returned to Arden Street in late February after being stood down in January.
He was charged in January with threatening to distribute an intimate image and last month faced court. The case will return to the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court on July 18.
In February, Thomas faced two counts of violating a court order but those charges were subsequently dropped.
North were last month made aware of further allegations of inappropriate behaviour, which they reported to the AFL’s integrity unit.
Thomas is also due to face court later this year on an unrelated charge of driving with a suspended licence.