AFL player Harley Bennell just announced his New Year’s resolution to the public – win The Frownlow Medal in 2019. The Fremantle Dockers player was reportedly asked to leave a Cottesloe hotel on Sunday for being too intoxicated and subsequently earned a nomination for the biggest prize in Australian sport.
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 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was the most recent recipient.
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.
Bennell has caught the attention of Frownlow judges in the past. He was nominated for the medal twice in 2017 and has been involved in enough scandals in previous seasons to also qualify for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
His Frownlow resume includes driving without a licence, poor discipline and accusations of drug use with current Frownlow medallist Karmichael Hunt. The talented player was eventually released by Gold Coast Suns for a drunken incident and was also drunk when he was kicked off a Virgin flight.