AFL coach and former player Alastair Clarkson has joined the family of The Frownlow Medal to mentor footballers with anger management issues.
The famously composed coach will advise and counsel young footballers, from across Australia’s four major football codes, whose anger issues have earned them nominations for The Frownlow Medal or The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
“Alastair is regarded as one of the most placid and polite coaches in the history of the AFL,” began a statement from the committee of The Frownlow Medal.
“It is believed that his serenity and general demeanour are perfect for guiding younger players, and coaches, through the perils and challenges of modern day professional football, in the role of anger management coach.”
The former Melbourne and North Melbourne player was once reported for abusing a 19-year-old match official at his son’s U/9 Australian Rules Football game, for which he was suspended for four games from the sidelines of the SMJFL.
The day before, he had punched a hole in the wall of a coaches box at the MCG because his Hawthorn team lost the game.
He also called an AFL journalist a ‘cockhead’ and was accused of grabbing the throat of a fan outside a pub on one occasion.
Clarkson is already taking his new role very seriously.
He immediately appointed NRL coaching legend Wayne Bennett as his assistant and elevated former AFL player Matthew Lloyd to his leadership group.
It is understood Bennett will primarily handle any media engagements.
He also visited various prisons in the lead up to this announcement, in order to meet with nominees of The Frownlow Medal who are currently behind bars.
Sources have also confirmed that the former midfielder has made reservations for players at a mindfulness and wellness retreat in Thailand, right next door to the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre so heavily frequented by Australian based footballers.
Clarkson was approached for comment following a training session and yelled,
“…Get out of my f#*@*en way!!” before adding “…Namaste.”
For more details on the players who will work with Clarkson, go to http://www.instagram/thefrownlowmedal/
First published in December, 2017.