Career cloud on Storm's Thomas

THE football future of Western Storm's Darryn Thomas remains uncertain in the wake of his criminal conviction for a drunken assault.

The 21-year-old was facing a life ban from the game after accruing 16 weeks of suspension in NTFA and State League matches before he appeared in the Launceston Magistrates Court this week.

But what effect Thomas's off-field misdemeanour will have on his playing career is not known, with AFL Tasmania admitting yesterday that it had been unaware of the court case.

``It's the first I've heard of it and I will have to ascertain from Western Storm the relevant detail associated with the subject matter,'' AFL Tasmania general manager Shaun Young said yesterday.

Young said the assault charge would not necessarily prevent Thomas from playing State League football because it related to an off-field incident.

``We're not the law and we can't impose any sanctions on players other than if they are bringing the game into disrepute,'' he said.

Young  could not say whether  Thomas's conviction fitted into that category without knowing the full details of the case.

On Tuesday, Thomas pleaded guilty to punching a man in Launceston after asking if he was gay.

His defence case included evidence that Western Storm had been helping him with alcohol and anger issues.

Western Storm president Michelle Strickland was yesterday unavailable for comment.

 The Examiner  revealed in May that under national AFL policy, Thomas was facing potential deregistration for accruing the 16 weeks of suspension.

At the time, Young said he was allowed to continue to play State League on the understanding that he could not afford to reoffend.