VAFA election crisis, Alastair Clarkson quotes Bruce Springsteen at Hawks AGM
VAFA election crisis, Alastair Clarkson quotes Bruce Springsteen at Hawks AGM

Inside VAFA’s Donald Trump-style election crisis

The VAFA is in the middle of a Donald Trump-style election.

In a messy situation which has been labelled the biggest crisis since the amateur body was formed, accusations of dirty politics are being flown around with lawyers even called in.

In the VAFA's first election for 20 years there are three spots on the board up for re-election and one of those is president George Voyage.

The incumbents certainly aren't embracing the idea of an injection of new blood with allegations they've blocked any information from the challengers reaching the voters which include the 72 amateur clubs and life members.

Clubs who nominated the challengers, which includes former Essendon premiership player Frank Dunnell who has been a long-time figure in the amateur ranks, have been rebuked by the administration.

The election was set down for December 7 but has been delayed until December 21 because of the furore.

Adding to the mess, the VAFA dropped a bombshell on clubs last week informing them that the player points system for their lists was being dropped from 45 to 43.

But after eight of the 10 A grade clubs fired in letters of disagreement the decision was reversed.

 

CLARKO'S UNUSUAL INSPIRATION FROM 'THE BOSS'

The less said about 2020 the better.

That's certainly Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson's take on a forgettable season for his club where they finished 15th, the worst result of his 16-year tenure.

His address to the club's annual general meeting lasted exactly one minute and ended with him telling members to go and listen to a Bruce Springsteen song.

"2020 presented us with some challenges like our generation have never seen before," Clarkson said.

"After a promising start, and starting the season at 3-1, we then entered hub life where we confronted some obstacles that proved to be significant challenges throughout the course of the season.

"In a team sport you still require everyone to play their role, unfortunately for us we had far too many that have fallen beneath their best throughout the course of 2020, right across the board.

"To best depict this past season I'm going to pull out another old Bruce Springsteen song, this time it's called 'Should I Fall Behind, Wait For Me'."

 

Bruce Springsteen in a scene from the movie Western Stars. Supplied by Warner Bros.
Bruce Springsteen in a scene from the movie Western Stars. Supplied by Warner Bros.

Clarkson is renowned for pulling out his guitar and singing a few songs in team meetings, much to the amusement of his players.

The Springsteen song's chorus goes: "I'll wait for you. Should I fall behind. Wait for me."

The four-time premiership coach wants Hawks to wait around and get on board for a "bounce" in 2021.

"I'd love you to watch this song, think about our players, think about our club and think of how we are ready to bounce in 2021," Clarkson said.

 

 

Adam Treloar has a new jumper number at the Bulldogs. Picture: NCA NewsWire
Adam Treloar has a new jumper number at the Bulldogs. Picture: NCA NewsWire

 

NO.1... WITH A BULLET?

Western Bulldogs star recruit Adam Treloar has been handed the first jumper off the pile by his new club - and it comes with a moderate track record.

Treloar will wear No.1 next year, while the club's No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan has been given No.22 - a jumper made available by Sam Lloyd's retirement this week.

Treloar can largely create a new identity for the No.1 at Whitten Oval as it has not been a well-worn guernsey in recent history. To the outside it has almost been cursed.

Few players hit 100 games in the number, including a short-lived cameo by ex-Saint Nicky Winmar - 21 games in 1999 - and it proved unlucky for Matt Suckling in 2016 who was named emergency for the drought-breaking premiership side.

Suckling played 76 games, previous No.1 Jarrad Grant played 81, while Farren Ray managed 75.

In the past, four Dogs cracked the ton in the jumper - Allan Hopkins (151 games), Jim Thomas (120), Andrew Purser (112) and Ian Hampshire (111).

The Dogs handed out new numbers for all their six off-season recruits this week - Treloar (No.1), Ugle-Hagan (No.22), Stefan Martin has been handed No.8, Mitch Hannan inherits retired premiership hero Tory Dickson's No.29, while draftees Dominic Bedendo and Lachlan McNeil have been given numbers 26 and 30 respectively.

 

THE WHISPER

Did the AFL's own website ignore the league's vaccination apology to its indigenous players? Hmmm, surely not.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Inside VAFA's Donald Trump-style election crisis


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