Sydney Stack will have to address his Richmond teammates to "tell his story" when he returns to the AFL club next week after being fined for breaching Western Australia's COVID-19 quarantine laws.
Stack appeared in Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday for his sentencing, having already pleaded guilty to one count of failing to comply with a direction.
The 20-year-old was fined $6000 and will return to Melbourne on Sunday.
But he is unlikely to play at AFL level any time soon as he instead focuses on getting his life back in order and rebuilding his fitness base.
Stack spent almost three weeks, including the Christmas period, behind bars after being caught in Northbridge during his compulsory self-isolation period.
He had been granted approval to enter WA on compassionate grounds in December for his grandfather's funeral.
The incident came after Stack breached AFL COVID-19 protocols during the 2020 season by attending a Gold Coast strip club and being involved in a fight outside a kebab shop.
Richmond were fined $100,000 over that incident, while Stack and teammate Callum Coleman-Jones were suspended for 10 games each and banished from Queensland.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick on Friday said he hopes the most recent incident in Perth and subsequent penalty can be a "fork in the road" for Stack.
"He's been on a hell of a journey, the young man," Hardwick said.
"We're willing to welcome him back with open arms and get him back on track.
"He's like any young man that makes some mistakes along the way - he's clear to make amends - and we're there to provide that opportunity for him.
"We can't wait to get him back in our program.
"It's going to take a little bit of time to get him back up to speed but the positive for us is he'll make it back to Melbourne and be a Richmond man once again."
Stack will front his teammates to explain his situation, as Hardwick did in January, when the coach addressed his marriage breakdown and the development of a new relationship with a member of the club's staff.
"He'll tell his story, that's something we always ask our players to do," Hardwick said.
"Everyone does have a story to tell, myself included, at various stages.
"In his own time he'll get up and address the group, he'll tell his situation of what he's been through and, more importantly, what he wants to do going forward.
"That's the big one for us. We can sit there and hang people on their past, but it's more important what he's going to do with his first step inside the door."
Hardwick said Richmond teammate Marlion Pickett will likely act as a mentor for fellow Indigenous player Stack.
Pickett spent time in jail for burglary before being given a football lifeline by the Tigers and becoming a premiership player, famously starring on debut in the 2019 grand final.
"It's early days, but I think Marlion would be a great role model for (Stack)," Hardwick said.
"He's been through some significant challenges himself and there's no greater example to look at the guy on his left and make his way in the world."
Australian Associated Press