Cats open-minded on Tarryn Thomas lifeline: coach

Geelong coach Chris Scott has left the door open for the Cats offering an AFL lifeline to sacked former North Melbourne utility Tarryn Thomas.

The 24-year-old Thomas has been out of the AFL system since the Kangaroos sacked him in February after he was suspended for 18 games by the AFL for threatening a woman and other misconduct.

The AFL found he had been engaging in threatening behaviour while undertaking a respect and responsibility education program.

He won't be able to join another club until at least the end of the season.

Cats football boss Andrew Mackie was asked on SEN radio about the possibility of pursuing Thomas for next year, and indicated Geelong would at least assess him.

"I didn't hear (Mackie's comments) but I would imagine he's talking about a player in a way that all of us who are spokespeople for the club would talk about any other player," Scott said.

"We're open-minded at the Cats.

"But in that specific instance, it's a bit like the other issue with Alastair Clarkson and Jeremy Finlayson (making homophobic slurs to opposition players) - I'm not across those issues enough to give a strong opinion privately, much less publicly.

"But it is good policy to be open-minded.

"We believe in second chances. That doesn't mean that you can just roll in and do whatever you want.

"But in principle, the idea of not getting to 'no' too quickly is a good one."

Geelong Cats AFL coach Chris Scott.
"It's important to keep an open mind", Geelong coach Chris Scott says.

Scott refused to draw comparisons between Thomas and Tyson Stengle, who was cut by Adelaide after several off-field incidents - including illicit drug possession and drink-driving - before turning his career around at Geelong.

"It's really unfair to compare Tyson Stengle to Tarryn's situation," he said.

"And it's a tad arrogant when football clubs - and I don't think they mean it this way - but when you imply, 'We're such a good footy club that anyone can come in here and we'll just spray them with magic dust and they'll turn into great people'.

"Again, I consider it a bit offensive to the rest of the competition.

"But the most important thing is that we are open-minded.

"Now that's a long, long way from 'yes'. But it's a start."

At the time of his suspension, the AFL said for Thomas to return to playing at any level, he needed to undertake another behavioural-change program.

That program would need to be approved by the AFL, which would require assurances of Thomas's progress before sanctioning any return to the sport.

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