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Players' boss to defend charges against Thomas in spite of ex's calls to sack the Kangaroo

Andrew Mathieson -

The former partner of out-of-favour footballer Tarryn Thomas caught up in a troubled relationship last year that ended in court has asked the AFL and his club to tear up the final year of the star's contract.

But the AFL Players' Association dismisses the uproar, planning to support Thomas, including defending his name and his right to dispute the allegations, from the latest assertion of "inappropriate behaviour".

Thomas has been accused by a different woman of separate counts of domestic violence after she recently approached the AFL, who has clandestinely been investigating the claims through its independent Integrity Unit.

Thomas's club was only informed late on Wednesday of the new set of allegations, without the AFL even informing Kangaroos officials earlier that their top pick of the 2018 draft was already under examination.

North Melbourne went underground on Thursday until, at least, a hearing will be conducted sometime next week after a request to attend AFL House was postponed and rescheduled over his legal representation being unavailable.

AFLPA chief executive, Paul Marsh, speaking on SEN radio in Melbourne stood up for Thomas, requesting for calm amid a dose of hysteria in both the media and from the public over calls for Thomas to be banned or sacked from a string of allegations during the past 12 months.

"It's hard to talk too much about that – I think we need to let the process play out," Marsh said.

"There will be an integrity interview at some point and we will go from there.

"Everyone needs to step back from this (investigation), and let it play out because as always, there's two sides to every story.

"We'll be supporting (Thomas) in the background."

The one-time boss of the Australian Cricketers Association spoke briefly on the issue, but indicated concern over prejudicing the outcome of the AFL investigation that could affect the footy career of the Lumaranatana and Kamilaroi man.

But he was adamant that the facts centre to the alleged incident should unravel first, and that the 23-year-old's poor track record of police charges including a threat to distribute an intimate image that prosecutors later downgraded should not be taken into account.

"We have dealt with the history and we are, where we are," Marsh said.

"I think we now need to work through these sets of allegations because as I said there are two sides to this."

But Thomas' initial accuser that led to a date in a courtroom is demanding action from the AFL regardless of its investigation.

Jamai Curran, who dated the Kangaroo midfielder in 2022, said he has been given enough chances since the Ormond resident from Tasmania was also accused of physically assaulting a third female.

Thomas escaped conviction and paid $1000 to a charity after he threatened to share an explicit video of the 29-year-old online.

"I think the AFL are letting women down and, at this point, need to be held responsible," she told News Corp papers on Thursday.

"The AFL, and the clubs, talk so much about domestic violence and taking it seriously, but when push comes to shove, they don't do anything about it.

"It's more important to protect players and reputations.

"So it will be interesting to see how this plays out and if AFL finally matches its actions with its words."

Curran had a fair insight how football clubs operate after being employed at St Kilda Football Club last year.

She was a consumer team leader inside the marketing department of the club before stepping away from the position after eight months, midway through the 2023 season.

There is no suggestion from the National Indigenous Times she left the job at St Kilda over her dealings with AFL club culture.

On the back of his alleged behaviour towards women, North Melbourne asked Thomas to undertake a respect and responsibility education program last year that had detailed accountability, remorse, and behavioural changes.

Thomas is currently no longer training with his Kangaroos teammates, but the club has not officially stood down its player either.


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