Matthew Lloyd's brutal truth bomb for 'absolute drainer' Tarryn Thomas

Tarryn Thomas filmed himself driving down the middle of the road with his feet on the dashboard, further frustrating North Melbourne.

Matthew Lloyd and Tarryn Thomas.
AFL great Matthew Lloyd says Tarryn Thomas is wasting his AFL opportunity with North Melbourne. Pictures: Channel 9/Getty Images

AFL great Matthew Lloyd says it is time North Melbourne seriously consider their options to move on from embattled player Tarryn Thomas, following yet another off-field indiscretion. Thomas is yet to play a game for North Melbourne this season after being stood down in March over allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Thomas was charged by police in January one count of threatening to distribute an intimate image, with the 23-year-old intending to fight the charge when it is heard in July. He was ordered to undertake a respectful behaviour program, but was stood down in March after fresh allegations were aired at North Melbourne determined his progress in the program had been insufficient.

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Now his hopes of returning to the team have taken a further hit, after images he posted of himself driving dangerously was made public. Channel 9's Today show aired since deleted clips from Thomas' Instagram page, showing him driving down the middle of a road with both of his feet resting on the dashboard.

"Living my best life," Thomas captioned the post, accompanied by various laughing emojis. In a club statement confirming the video was legitimate, North Melbourne said Thomas would continue to remain away from the club, clearly some way away from meeting community expectations.

With months of off-field incidents now stacking up, Lloyd told Fox Footy there had to come a point for the Kangaroos where enough would be enough with regards to Thomas. He said his lingering presence would be 'draining' on not only club staff but also his teammates, particularly considering the Kangaroos' improved showings under new coach Alastair Clarkson.

“He’s an absolute drainer on the North Melbourne football club and I don’t say that lightly,” Lloyd told Footy Classified on Channel 9. “I’ve seen it before... when you’ve got that many players and staff who are trying to turn that club around to try and be respected again and stand for something and the amount of time and energy they’re wasting on Tarryn Thomas.

“They’ve already brought him back into the club once, then they had to let him go back out again, wanted to reintroduce him next week. Whether you’re sending that (clip of himself driving) to one person or 10, it’s dangerous, immature.

“Again he’s losing more respect from the football world and more importantly his teammates and he’s being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars while he’s not at the club. He’s just going to realise whether it’s next week, next month or in a few years that he wasted an amazing opportunity.”

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Fellow AFL premiership star Jimmy Bartel was in agreement, saying that Thomas desperately needed to start associating with people who could help him get his career back on track. He said it needed to be made clear to Thomas that playing AFL football and the lifestyle that can come along with it is a 'privilege'.

“We want players to have lives, no one is denying that, but you are different, because there are different standards for you to be an AFL footballer. It’s actually a privilege,” Bartel said. “You can still have the life you want to live but there’s a certain standard that comes with being an AFL footballer ... I’m just concerned, who’s advising him?

“Everyone’s got a circle of friends or people you lean on, you pick up the phone. If he’s called up a mate and gone ‘I’m going to head to Sydney while I’m trying to make my way back into North Melbourne’, surely someone is going ‘Should you? Shouldn’t you just stay at home?’ You can't do anything about it if someone chooses not to listen."

Thomas has consistently said he is determined to prove he belongs with the Kangaroos since being stood down, with some calls suggesting he would be better off being brought back into the fold. However even AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan says it is up to Thomas to comprehend the opportunity he's been given.

Tarryn Thomas.
Tarryn Thomas has been stood down by North Melbourne since March and is yet to appear at AFL level this season. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

"H e's got to meet the club halfway," he said of Thomas. "I do believe you can have someone's back and also hold them accountable.

"The football club will be great for Tarryn Thomas, but he has to meet them halfway and come back and say, 'Yeah, I'm prepared to change and be a part of this team, be a part of this club and play by the broader cultural norms'."

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