Deeply rooted issue: Zac needs help
Mon, 21 Jan 2013 08:46
This isn't actually a rugby thing now
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder believes that New Zealand bad boy Zac Guildford is in need of professional help for what he regards as a "deeply rooted" alcohol problem.
The troubled All Black wing, Guildford, stepped down from his Super Rugby side, the Crusaders, and faces misconduct proceedings after another off-field incident.
Blackadder told reporters the latest incident was "very, very serious" and he stood by the previous warning to Guildford.
The 23-year-old Guilford admitted to having been involved in a serious incident after attending a private house party in Christchurch earlier this month.
The incident follows a series of misdemeanours involving Guildford, who is on his final warning after several misconduct charges by his employer, the New Zealand Rugby Union.
While details of exactly what happen remain speculative, Blackadder says that there is a deeply rooted problem that Guildford needs to sort out.
"I could say that there was alcohol involved and sure when the facts come alight I think that everyone will realise that there is a deeper issue here," Blackadder said.
"I just hope for Zac that we can get the right outcome and get the support that he needs because there is a problem."
In 2011, Guildford was suspended for four weeks following an NZRU misconduct hearing into a booze-fuelled night in Rarotonga.
He missed one Super Rugby match and three Crusaders pre-season fixtures and was ordered to undergo alcohol treatment and counselling at his own expense.
"The one thing I do know is that this isn't actually a rugby thing now," he said.
"This is about Zac getting the right professional help and actually seeing it though and basically curing and healing himself from the inside out because even last Sunday when he had acted inappropriately and was really disappointed you could honestly see the genuine hurt and the shame and the embarrassment of it all yet he keeps doing it.
"I think that he needs to get the help beyond football just to get his life back on track to be honest because obviously these things don't only hurt him but also hurt the organisation that he represents and also his family."
The woman who's helping cricketer Jesse Ryder turn his life around believes he and Guildford could be symptomatic of bigger problems in professional sport.
"I think the level of clinical issues and psychological issues is definitely on the rise both because we have a generation of young men who are just coming through and they haven't known anything else," psychologist Karen Nimmo told ONE News.
The NZRU won't comment at this stage but they will hold a misconduct hearing with Guildford later in the week and there is the real possibility that he could become the first Crusaders player to have his contract torn up.
"I mean Zac's been given a lot of opportunities to basically sort his stuff out which he hasn't," Blackadder said.
However if the NZRU and Crusaders do cut him loose, there will still be a place in New Zealand for Guildford to go.
"If he was to be available for Hawke's Bay rugby in 2013 there's no question we'd select Zac," Hawke's Bay CEO Mike Bishop said
But the appeal of playing NPC rugby only would have little appeal for a player of Guildford's stature.
Which means a move overseas would most certainly be on the cards should the hearing result in his NZRU contract being terminated
Source: ONE News
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