Tim Payne has established himself at right back in the Wellington Phoenix defence.
Tim Payne has issued a tearful apology after the Wellington Phoenix defender was charged with a drink-driving offence while the team was supposed to be in self-isolation.
Football Federation Australia have launched an investigation after Payne and Phoenix team-mate Oliver Sail were stopped by New South Wales Police while joyriding in a golf cart on Oxford Falls Road at 1:20am on Tuesday.
Both players are expected to cop a hefty fine or suspension.
“I just want to say I am incredibly sorry and incredibly embarrassed for what I’ve done,” Payne told Radio Sport.
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“I take full responsibility for my actions and for what unfolded on that night. I’ve let so many people down including my partner, my family, the club as a whole and individuals such as Uffie [coach Ufuk Talay], who has given me a chance this season.
“I’m incredibly embarrassed and so sorry that I’ve let so many people down.”
Police conducted a roadside breath test, which Payne returned a positive result. He was subsequently taken to Mona Vale Police Station, where he allegedly returned a breath analysis reading of 0.100.
He was charged with a drive middle-range PCA and will appear before a Manly Local Court on June 10.
According to the Transport for NSW website a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 to less than 0.15 and carries a minimum disqualification of six months and maximum court-imposed fine of $2200 for a first offence.
The FFA said in a statement the matter is being taken very seriously and If any misconduct is found to have occurred, they will take action under the code’s national code of conduct.
“There will be some legal sanctions in Australia, yes. I take full responsibility for that and whatever the club decides and the FFA decides, I’ll take full responsibility,” Payne said.
“It was the last day before we left to come home and myself and Oliver Sail took a golf cart for a ride in the early hours of the evening. Contrary to reports we weren’t arrested and the public did not intervene.”
On the books of Blackburn Rovers as a teenager, Payne has worked hard to resurrect football career in recent seasons following spells with national league sides Auckland City and Eastern Suburbs.
The 26-year-old was invited to trial with the Phoenix in pre-season but has since become a regular at right-back after stepping in to replace the injured Louis Fenton in round five.
The Phoenix confirmed there was an incident involving Payne and Sail which resulted in damage to the Sydney Academy of Sport facility they were staying at while in isolation.
They said they are taking the matter “very seriously” and will make a further statement when their own internal investigation is complete.
“It was definitely a mistake on my behalf. It’s just one of those things you wish you could take back. With anything you do in life, there’s got to be repercussions… I 100 per cent expect there to be repercussions for my actions.”
Payne could avoid attending court in Sydney by lodging his plea from New Zealand.