The off-field behaviour of AFL footballers has been thrown into the spotlight again after Collingwood defender Marley Williams was accused of breaking another teenager's jaw outside a nightclub in his home city of Albany.
The 19-year-old was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm over the alleged attack on a 19-year-old Bateman man outside Studio 146 early yesterday.
Police claim Mr Williams and the other teen had argued inside the Stirling Terrace venue about 1.30am, with security staff then asking the Bateman man and two of his friends to leave.
Mr Williams left the club with friends soon after, allegedly confronting the Bateman teen when he saw him standing in the street and punching him once in the face.
The Bateman man's jaw was broken in two places and he was taken to Albany Hospital before being taken to Perth on a Royal Flying Doctor Service flight yesterday for treatment at Royal Perth Hospital.
Albany police charged Mr Williams - who has been in Albany spending Christmas with his family - and released him on bail to appear in Albany Magistrate's Court next month.
Mr Williams, who played six games with the Magpies after making his debut against Adelaide in round nine this season, faces a possible jail term if convicted over the assault.
He is also expected to face heavy sanctions from Collingwood Football Club and will have to appear in front of the club's leadership group to explain himself.
Collingwood Football Club issued a statement yesterday confirming reports that Mr Williams had been charged.
"As this is a police matter, the club will be making no further comment at this time," it said.
Club chief executive Gary Pert last month spoke of fears of "volcanic behaviour" among players during off-season breaks.
He told the Herald Sun that off-season was potentially a dangerous time for cashed-up players who had time on their hands and were outside of club control.
"There's volcanic behaviour," he said. "The nature of the disciplines we put in place for the players mean . . . when we have breaks, are deemed to be the highest risk times."
Mr Pert's comments about "volcanic behaviour" came after he raised concerns about football's drug culture at a meeting of AFL bosses and club chief executives on the Gold Coast last month.
Collingwood have already had a rocky start to their bid for the 2013 premiership after speculation in Melbourne over star player Dane Swan's behaviour during the off-season. He was suspended for two games late last season for turning up at training disoriented after a heavy drinking session.
Mr Williams, who has several relatives who played in the WAFL, played six games before his season ended in July with a shoulder injury. He was picked at No. 35 by Collingwood in the 2011 rookie draft.
The teenager had played with North Albany before moving to Perth in January 2011. He played 13 games with Claremont colts that year and two senior matches.
He also represented WA in the Under-18 National Championships.
It is understood the 19-year-old had been at the Boxing Day races in Albany, one of the highlights of the port city's social calendar, before eventually ending up at the nightclub.Police will review security cameras in the area for footage of the alleged incident.
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