Legendary forward Eddie Betts is confident Tyson Stengle has turned his life around and hopes his “younger brother” is given a third shot in the AFL.
Stengle, a former Adelaide and Richmond goal-sneak, is being considered by a number of clubs including Geelong where Betts has just signed as a development coach.
Betts and Stengle have a close relationship after playing together at the Crows in 2019.
Stengle lived with the recently retired champion in Adelaide, before Betts and his family moved back to Carlton ahead of the 2020 season.
Betts admitted it was difficult watching Stengle run into trouble off the field multiple times last year, before he was eventually sacked by the Crows in March.
“I feel like I’m his older brother,” Betts said in Geelong on Thursday.
“I felt really bad because he lived there with me and my wife (Anna) and we were pretty hard on him and kept him on the straight and narrow.
“When we left, all this stuff started happening, not saying it’s because we left but it was tough seeing that from Melbourne.”
The pair speak every day and Stengle, 22, does not have to look too far for inspiration in how he could reignite his 16-game career.
Betts had his own off-field issues after being drafted by the Blues in 2004, before becoming a star of the game and one of the most popular figures the AFL has ever seen.
Stengle is coming off an impressive season with SANFL club Woodville West-Torrens and was involved in community work off the field.
“I’ve spoken to him about my issues,” Betts said.
“I was locked up at a young age, the famous boat cruise with Carlton, and I guess that’s when the penny dropped for myself.
“I told him (on Wednesday) I played my best footy when I was 26 and that’s when I peaked. He’s 22 so the best footy is ahead of him.
“I really hope he gets another chance at AFL footy, whether it’s here (at Geelong) or somewhere else.
“My best interests are that Tyson gets back and playing AFL footy.
“If he comes to Geelong, that would be great.”
Betts, who kicked 640 goals from 350 games across 17 seasons with Carlton and Adelaide, will have a part-time role with the Cats and commute from his home in Melbourne.
The Fort News