Jackson Nelson and Josh Rotham are true clubmen.

Jackson Nelson and Josh Rotham are devoted clubmen. They’re just devoted to the wrong club. The West Coast players partied at a Perth nightclub recently while their AFL club struggled to field a team amid a COVID and injury crisis, and they have earned themselves 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, while NRL star Jarryd Hayne is the most recent recipient.

Nelson and Rotham were clearly confused when they were told to devote themselves to the club. They received the same message that every AFL player receives upon signing a contract, which is to give their heart and soul to the club, to put the club before everything, to sweat for the club and even die for the club – because that’s what it takes to win a premiership. The only problem is that they put in the hard yards at a Leedverville nightclub after being told to stay away from public places due to COVID restrictions imposed on the club.

Many West Coast players and staff had been affected by COVID, and the club advised players to avoid public gatherings to reduce the risk of contagion. This was especially important since the Eagles had already lost many first-choice players to COVID and injuries. So few players were available that the club had to ask the AFL for an extension just to name a run-on side against the Brisbane Lions. Despite this, Nelson and Rothman went partying at a nightclub.

According to media reports, the Eagles have used an AFL-high 42 players this year, the most through seven rounds of a VFL-AFL season since St Kilda in 1910.

Nelson and Rothman will learn their fate soon, but have been assured that the awards night for The Frownlow Medal, to which they have been invited, is one giant nightclub at which anything goes.

Image: NuNa

Michael Gardiner emerges from the underworld.

Former AFL player Michael Gardiner has surfaced from the underworld in order to accept his nomination for The Fronwlow Medal Hall of Fame. Gardiner has been nominated for numerous incidents, including involvement with a group of alleged underworld figures from Perth.

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 Jarryd Hayne is 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.

Gardiner was criticised in 2005 for an association with a group of alleged underworld figures in Perth, alongside the human disaster and fellow West Coast player Cousins. The teammates allegedly received phone calls from gangland figures before and after a stabbing at a Perth nightclub, and refused to cooperate with police during the investigation.

The Eagles told Gardiner and Cousins they were on their last warning, but as The Fronwlow Medal has proven, a last warning in professional football is rarely a last warning. The pair were warned that their off-field behaviour would not be tolerated, but Gardiner stayed at the Eagles in 2006, when he was dropped to club football for his involvement in a booze bus incident alongside…Cousins.

Not sacked, just dropped.

Later in 2006, Gardiner had his contract suspended indefinitely, but not terminated, after a drunken traffic accident which earned him only a $5000 fine and a warning from club bosses that they were highly unlikely to renew his contract at the end of the year.

Gardiner was also praised as a mentor to Dustin Martin, who has received numerous Fronwlow nominations, one of which involved trying to stab a woman in the eye with chopsticks. Martin once called Gardiner a ‘Great Man’.

After accepting the nomination, Gardiner returned to the underworld alongside Cousins.

Image: NuNa

Sneak peak at Ben Cousins’ new TV role.

Controversial AFL player Ben Cousins will soon appear on TV to provide a weekly update on the contenders for The Fronwlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame in 2022.

Cousins will use his guest role on Channel 7 Perth to reveal the details of the latest scandals which have earned footballers nominations for Frownlow honours, and to recount the incidents which place him among the Frownlow immortals.

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 Jarryd Hayne is 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 Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

The West Coast Eagles legend will assess the behaviour of players who could join him in The Fronwlow Medal Hall of Fame this year, including Darius Boyd, Andrew Lovett and Nathan Daly, as well as Brett Finch, Curtis Scott, Blake Ferguson and Sam Burgess.

He will also run his expert eye over the contenders for The Frownlow Medal, such as Anthony Milford, Tui Kamikamica, Rhys Nicholls, Zane Musgrove, Tristan Sailor and Manase Fainu.

Cousins is virtually a permanent nominee for The Fronwlow Medal Hall of Fame because he manages to involve himself in self-inflicted controversies every year. He has been in and out of prison and in and out of rehab for substance abuse, and was once accused of breaching a violence restraining order taken out by his former partner.

As recently as April 2021, he was caught and fined $1500 for possession of methamphetamine. This is why his segment will also include advice to young Aussies on how to earn a nomination for Australia’s greatest sporting prize.

Cousins will also provide updates on which disgraced footballer is appearing on which upcoming reality TV show, and will recount the scandal which landed them in trouble.

Image: Getty Images

Willie Rioli just couldn’t wait.

Willie Rioli was just three months away from ending a two-year drug ban from the AFL when he got himself arrested for drugs. Rioli was allegedly caught in possession of cannabis recently and earned his second nomination for The Frownlow Medal, as well as a second possible suspension from the 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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

Rioli was first nominated for Frownlow honours in 2019 when he failed an ASADA drug test. Two weeks later, he tested positive again to metabolite cannabis on a match day in September, and was found guilty of two breaches relating to tampering with a urine sample, and one for the use of cannabis.

After the failed test and the suspension, Rioli said:

“I realise I have done wrong things and I have learned from it. I am sorry for letting people down. I am looking forward to putting all this behind me and playing footy again soon.”

It seems he may not have learned anything, as a police sniffer dog allegedly detected cannabis in his possession at Darwin airport recently. Rioli was living and playing lower-grade football in the top end while he sat out the two-year ban for the 2019 offence, and the courts will now decide if he ever returns to the field for the West Coast Eagles.

Rioli’s fall from grace is an unfortunate stain on a family of AFL royalty, which has produced many outstanding players across multiple generations. Willie’s nomination also comes on the exact same day that his cousin and Richmond player, Daniel, was also nominated for Frownlow honours.

Willie was supposed to be eligible for selection in August of this year, but now his AFL fate, and his chances of winning The Frownlow Medal, are in the hands of the judges.

Image: NuNa

Are they racist, or silly little boys?

Three AFL players have been sent back to primary school to learn the difference between racism and a harmless schoolyard game. Jack Redden, Alex Witherden and Jamaine Jones will attend Year 1 with Ms. Pankhurst after making a hand signal in a team photo that many people associate with white supremacist movements, but which the players claim refers to a children’s game.

The West Coast Eagles players have earned nominations for The Frownlow Medal after they made the upside-down three-finger OK gesture which Australian mass murderer Brenton Tarrant used during a courtroom appearance in 2019. The official photo was posted on the Eagles official social media page and Jones later tagged Redden and Witherden, along with a tears of joy face emoji.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

Club bosses quickly defended the players after a strong reaction on social media. They argued that the players were not making a racist gesture, but instead referencing the ‘Circle Game’. In this game, the same hand signal is used by one player to force other players to look below their waistline. If other players do so, they get a punch in the arm.

It seems the players won’t even receive a slap on the wrist.

Jones Redden and Witherden are adults. They are old enough to hold a driver’s licence, drink alcohol and vote, and they are sure to stand out when they sit on the mat during story time with Ms. Pankhurst. They will not stand out intellectually or emotionally however, and will receive the same instruction about avoiding racism as their 6-year-old classmates.

The West Coast club is familiar with racist controversy. In 2016, the Eagles became the first club to earn a Frownlow nomination after its social media channel used the term ‘Yellow Peril’ in a promotional post.

Jones, Redden and Withderden, meanwhile, can still play for the Eagles as long as they get a signed permission note from their parent or guardian.

Image: NuNa

Adam Hunter nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Former AFL player Adam Hunter has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal after being charged with domestic violence. The premiership winner was accused of breaking into his partner’s home, assaulting her and stopping her from leaving.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is 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.

Hunter won the ultimate prize with the West Coast Eagles in 2006, and recently appeared in court in Perth charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated common assault and deprivation of liberty.

If found guilty of these charges, Hunter has a very good chance of being inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame and earning a highly sought-after Wife Beater tattoo.

Image: NuNa

Daniel Kerr’s second Frownlow nomination is more than a bit of fun.

Former AFL player Daniel Kerr claims that passing out drunk in the street in Kalgoorlie was just a bit of fun, but his second nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame is dead serious.

The West Coast Eagles hero was found by a member of the public asleep on the street in the outback town after what he described as a harmless night out with his mates. He was assessed by police and later released.

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 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.

Kerr was far more serious when he spoke of his second nomination for the most prestigious award in Australian sport.

“I got my first nomination in 2016, with my Dad,” he explained.

“We didn’t get inducted into the hall of fame, even though we did stuff like forging prescriptions, setting a house on fire, assault, alcohol abuse and even getting in a fight with Ben Cousins. We were ripped off – and I reckon I should be inducted this year.”

Kerr is determined to right the wrongs of the past and see himself in the hall of fame alongside players such as Cousins and Brendan Fevola, and this is why he travelled all the way to the remote mining town to get on the booze with his mates. Passing out in the main street was a statement that Kerr is serious about attracting the attention of Frownlow judges yet again.

The former Eagle is seeking glory, but also a free lifetime pass to the awards ceremony for The Frownlow Medal and the hall of fame, at which inductees are given free food and drink, and any other substances they can acquire.

Image: NuNa

Willie Rioli a late smoker for The Frownlow Medal.

AFL player Willie Rioli has waited until the final moments of the season to announce himself to the judges of The Frownlow Medal. Rioli earned his late nomination after testing positive to cannabis and embroiling himself in a controversy with drug testing authorities.

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.

Rioli is reported to have tested positive to cannabis, which may carry a lengthy ban from the AFL, after he had already become involved in a controversial incident in which he is accused of tampering with a urine sample during a routine drug test.

The West Coast Eagles players has now had his name added to the list of players invited to the upcoming Frownlow awards night, and organisers have been ordered to provide extra pies and sausage rolls for his table, in case he gets the munchies.

It is on this night that Rioli will find out of he has won the most prestigious award in Australian sport, The Frownlow Medal.

Image: NuNa