He said he was focused on the players learning, along the way, the right approach of a professional athlete but he also wanted them to enjoy each other’s company.
“The players are clear. If you have an acute injury, you don’t drink. If you have got a longer term injury, then you need to be smart with it,” Teague said.
“When a mate is getting married – if there is going to be a time when you can have a drink, it is when your mate is getting married – and one of the things I love about the club right now is the tightness of our playing group and the bonds that they have.
“We had a couple of guys go to that wedding and they didn’t drink because they had acute injuries, but the ones who could have a drink … I have no issues with that.”
Teague revealed that the Blues regularly discussed what happened on weekends and weren’t afraid to deal with players who over-stepped the mark, describing the wedding as another chance to find the right balance.
“It was a good learning opportunity for us and it’s something where there was a lot of positive reinforcement,” Teague said.
“We just used it as a discussion, ‘How do you think we went and how did we handle this?’ The players did that and there were a lot of positives that came out of it.”
Teague said he wasn’t a fan of an approach that led to players abstaining from alcohol and then binging, saying he preferred balance.
“We trust our players to make the right choices, and there will be times when they don’t. It is not a perfect world. We all make mistakes, when that happens, we will use it … as opportunities going forward,” Teague said.
“I don’t want a dictatorship.
“We trust our players. They make the right calls more often than not, and when they don’t we will educate them and help them.”
Teague said he wanted players to feel safe in the club, to be who they wanted to be and express themselves. He could see the group was tight and he expected that to translate into good performances on the field.
“It’s very important to get that unity. They’re going to play better if they’re going out there with their mates and they want to cover each other. We want to work hard together and we want to have fun together,” he said.
Meanwhile, Teague said new recruit Jack Martin had impressed everyone with his training after joining the club from the Gold Coast in the pre-season draft.
“He’s tough,” he said.
“I knew he tackled well, you do the research and you look at what you are bringing to the club, but I just didn’t realise how continual his pressure and tackle intent was. He just keeps coming and coming.”
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.