AFL player Tyson Stengle has become the first footballer in history to earn three nominations for The Frownlow Medal in the same year, after being involved in a mysterious ‘off-field matter’. The question is, will it be enough to win the most sought after 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. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL player Ben Barba is the most recent recipient.
The Adelaide Crows player scored his first nomination for drink driving, and the second for possession of illicit drugs, and has finally been stood down by the Crows. The mystery surrounding the incident adds more intrigue to the race for Frownlow glory, which will be decided in just a few weeks.
Will Stengle defeat the alleged rapists Jarryd Hayne, Jack de Belin and Tristan Sailor? Will he beat the Wife Beater Elijah Taylor, and can he overcome the 30 or so players who breached COVID-19 protocols this year? We’ll find out in just a few weeks.
Stengle’s third nomination surpasses the efforts of other professional footballers since the award’s inception. Barba was kicked out of the NRL twice on his way to Frownlow glory, Ben Cousins has earned countless nominations for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, and Sam Newman always makes a lame attempt to be noticed, but no footballer has ever been nominated three times in the same year. It’s quite an achievement.
When details emerge of the incident involving Stengle, judges will be in a better position to start engraving someone’s name on The Frownlow Medal for 2020.