Dylan Walker‘s chances of winning The Frownlow Medal in 2019 have been dealt a huge blow after his fiancee recently changed her testimony during the court hearing into the assault case against the NRL player.
Walker’s fiancee, Alex Ivkovic, chose to change a statement she made at the time of the incident, and in doing so has increased the likelihood that Walker will be found not guilty of the alleged crime.
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.
The Manly Sea Eagles player was charged with assault after an altercation with Ivkovic in December 2018 and the incident placed him as one of the early favourites to win The Frownlow Medal in 2019. However, if the recent statement helps Walker avoid punishment, there is no way he will win the award in a year in which five of his Rugby League colleagues are also under investigation for violence against women.
Strengthening Walker’s bid for the award are nominations in previous years for misuse of prescription medication, for damaging his hand when punching the door of his own apartment and for allegedly being involved in a bar brawl in Thailand.
Now, Walker will have to await the outcome of his own court case and the investigations involving other players, as well as the entire winter football season, to find out of he has done enough to win The Frownlow Medal.