AFL player Tarryn Thomas hasn’t won The Frownlow Medal yet. He’s been nominated multiple times, but a year is a long time in football and his recent nomination is just that.
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 star Manase Fainu is the most recent recipient.
Thomas receives his second nomination for 2023 and his third in total, after posting a video of himself driving dangerously. The now-deleted video showed him driving with his feet up on the dashboard, while the car straddles the line in the middle of two lanes.
He earned his earlier nominations after being charged with a single count of threatening to distribute an intimate image and, in late 2022, for driving with a suspended licence during the Christmas break.
He was also dropped from the senior side in mid-2022 for not meeting training standards.
Thomas must be feeling very confident about winning the medal this year, but even one of his own colleagues has more nominations, and is still in contention. Jordan De Goey has been nominated many times in the last few years and still hasn’t won the medal. He is in contention again this year for various indiscretions. Ironically, Thomas’ current coach and Frownlow nominee, Alastair Clarkson, advised Thomas to emulate De Goey’s off-field redemption.
Thomas will be pleased to know that the Frownlow after party, to be held later this year, features Go Karts which can be driven as fast and as recklessly as he likes.