Sidebottom sorry, commits to charity work

Magpies' Steele Sidebottom will undertake charity work as well as complete a four-match AFL ban.
Magpies' Steele Sidebottom will undertake charity work as well as complete a four-match AFL ban.

Steele Sidebottom will retain his role as Collingwood vice-captain but has been ordered by the club to undertake charity work following the drinking session that saw him banned by the AFL for four matches.

Sidebottom met with the Magpies' leadership group and senior football staff in Perth on Sunday for the first time since the June 27-28 incident, during which he broke the league's strict COVID-19 protocols.

It was agreed the 29-year-old will complete a responsible consumption of alcohol course and commit time in the service of a charitable or community organisation over the next 12 months.

The service will commence when circumstances and coronavirus protocols allow.

"I obviously take full responsibility for my actions and deeply apologise for those things that occurred," Sidebottom said in a statement released on the club's website.

"I guess for me over the next few weeks I won't be able to have an impact on-field but I'll be doing everything I can to help my teammates out to prepare for the games coming up.

"Whatever I can do in meetings or on the training track, whatever it is, I'll be there to help out."

Sidebottom and teammate Lynden Dunn, who served a one-game suspension, broke AFL protocols by catching an Uber late on June 27 following a visit to the house of injured defender Jeremy Howe.

The pair were there to console Howe after his devastating knee injury, but Sidebottom's alcohol consumption during that visit triggered a series of events.

While Dunn headed straight home, Sidebottom took an Uber to the house of Daniel Wells - another breach given that the Magpies staff member is not part of Collingwood's COVID-compliant bubble.

"I know that I've affected everyone at the footy club and everyone that supports the footy club outside," Sidebottom said.

"My role going forward now is to make amends on that and try and get back all the trust from not only my teammates and everyone at the footy club but also all the supporters out there.

"I really appreciate all the support that I've had over the last few weeks and I guess for me now I'm looking to put it behind me and get on with 2020."

Sidebottom has missed Collingwood's last two matches and will be eligible to return in round nine, when the Magpies are slated to take on Fremantle.

Collingwood next face Geelong at Perth's Optus Stadium on Thursday night.

Australian Associated Press