BOMBER BACKS $1000 FINES FOR JOHNSON,
Geelong coach Mark Thompson has defended the AFL club's decision to fine players Steve Johnson and Andrew Mackie $1,000 apiece after they were detained by police for being drunk in a public place.
The incident happened at 3am Sunday at the Home House nightclub in Geelong, where the pair was celebrating Mackie's 21st birthday.
They also broke the club's regular 1am curfew and were required to apologise to teammates before fronting the media.
Thompson said there was no need to drop Johnson for disciplinary reasons for Saturday's must-win clash against Melbourne at Skilled Stadium, while Mackie is still unavailable after suffering a hip injury in round 12.
"The senior (players) really thought where we are at this stage of the season, that they really wanted give a best chance of winning a game this week and they felt Steven was going to help us win the game," Thompson said.
"We just wanted to bring the boys in here (media conference) to face the music and for them to say sorry.
"The biggest sanction we can impose on a player is to bring them in front of you people and the supporters, that's where the message is going to go out, to the supporters of the Geelong Football Club."
Senior Geelong player Tom Harley said the pair had let themselves and their teammates down.
"The two boys got up and made a public apology to the side - they were really remorseful," he said.
"That's one of the hardest things going around, to get up in front of your peers and acknowledge that you've made a blue."
Geelong CEO Brian Cook confirmed that Mackie left the nightspot at approximately 3am.
"(He) was waiting for a taxi, engaged in a discussion which became heated with a police officer," Cook said.
"Andrew alleges that at no stage did he challenge the officer by saying, as was reported in some media today `do you want a shot at the title', nor did he take a swing at the police officer."
Mackie, was then escorted to Geelong police station.
Johnson was also detained by police after seeing Mackie being placed in the police car.
But Cook denied that either player had been involved in a brawl.
"At no stage was there a brawl or fight involving either of our two players, this has been confirmed by the officer in charge of the Geelong Police Station again this morning, as it was on Sunday night with the officer in charge then," Cook said.
It's not the first time Steve Johnson has been involved in such an incident, having broken his ankle after jumping from a fence at the Torquay Hotel two years ago.
Geelong has slipped to seventh position on the AFL ladder after losing six of its last nine matches.
STEVE JOHNSON WRESTLES WITH RICHMOND'S JOEL BOWDEN LAST SEASON
ANDREW MACKIE IN HAPPIER TIMES