Magpies to move past AFL ban: Beveridge

Jaidyn Stephenson will miss Collingwood's next 10 games for betting on AFL matches.
Jaidyn Stephenson will miss Collingwood's next 10 games for betting on AFL matches.

The Western Bulldogs aren't expecting Collingwood to be distracted by the lengthy gambling ban handed out to Jaidyn Stephenson when the AFL teams clash on Sunday at Marvel Stadium.

Stephenson will miss the next 10 matches after betting on three games, including his team's round four win over the Bulldogs.

But Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says while Stephenson is an important player for the Magpies, they have plenty of talent to replace him.

"I met Jaidyn at the draft combine and he seems like a brilliant young kid," Beveridge said on Thursday.

"Obviously he's made a mistake and it's a real shame but they've got a lot of depth on their list to cover it."

Beveridge said gambling was a huge issue for AFL players and clubs needed to do more to ensure they purposefully filled their down time.

"Too much time on our hands and too much disposable income, they're the two dynamics that collide and create a real issue," he said.

"There's obviously some huge challenges in our game from club to club and from individual to individual.

"I think the bigger the salary cap gets, the bigger the demands from the PA (AFL Players' Association) and what goes into the player's pocket, the bigger issue it's going to be."

Collingwood escaped with a 14-point win in that early round match, with Beveridge feeling his team's game plan proved effective.

"We were right in there early in the last quarter and then it seemed like they over-powered us and they've done that to a number of sides," Beveridge said.

"Tactically last time we went in with a bit of a different plan that seemed to suit us and stifle some of the things they like to do."

Beveridge said that veteran Dale Morris is at least another week away, and would return from his ACL injury through the VFL.

Rhylee West, the son of former club legend Scott West, is set to be named in their initial squad of 26 to take on Collingwood, although Beveridge couldn't guarantee the 18-year-old would play.

"We would love to give Rhylee an opportunity but what we don't want to do with our brand new players, and Rhylee is one of those, is throw them to the wolves and put them out there before they're totally ready," he said.

"It may be this week, but it may be a bit longer, too."

Australian Associated Press