AFL player Marley Williams went off too early. He went and got himself involved in a drunken fight down at the pub before Australia Day. In the process he earned himself a nomination for The Frownlow Medal.
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. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was the most recent recipient.
Why couldn’t Williams wait? If he’d got drunk and got into a scuffle down at the pub on Australia Day, he wouldn’t have been singled out by his North Melbourne club, he would have been hailed as patriotic. But no, he had to go off early, to peak too soon.
Williams is being investigated by the Kangaroos for his involvement in the incident which occurred at a bar in South Melbourne owned by former AFL player and Frownlow nominee Dane Swan. It is alleged that Williams became involved in the scuffle, after which he was handed a penalty infringement notice by police for being drunk in a public place.
What chance does Williams have of winning The Frownlow in 2019? Well, he hasn’t been charged with assaulting a woman, like so many Rugby League players, but he does have history. He escaped a jail sentence despite breaking a man’s jaw outside a nightclub in WA in 2012.
The other question is, what will the defender do on January 26? If he’s already been in a drunken pub brawl, and been nominated for the most prestigious award in Australian sport, what else is there to do; get a Southern Cross tattoo?