Disgraced former NRL player Tim Simona remains a safe bet to win The Frownlow Medal ahead of a stellar cast of champion footballers from across Australia’s four major football codes.
Simona was kicked out of the NRL after being found guilty of betting on games, including those in which he played, and has since been accused and found guilty of other serious offences.
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. Kiwi international and Sydney Roosters player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while Corey Norman from the Parramatta Eels won in 2016.
Simona faces tough opposition from former NRL colleagues Bryce Cartwright, Kenny-Dowall and James Roberts.
Cartwright earned his nomination for arranging a fixer to bribe a former lover to abort his baby which he had refused to father, while Kenny-Dowall made his bid for a second Frownlow when he was caught with illicit drugs outside a nightclub, the same offence which ruined the international career of his Kiwi counterparts Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Procter.
Roberts, meanwhile, was allegedly nominated for allegedly being drunk at a pub and allegedly pulling a woman’s hair before allegedly being escorted from the premises and allegedly falling asleep in a taxi, whereupon police allegedly bought him a burger before allegedly driving him home.
AFL players also joined the party, especially representatives from the Fremantle Dockers. Shane Yarran, Michael Johnson and Harley Bennell were all charged with various grades of assault, including one pantless incident in a kebab shop. Bennell poses the biggest thereat to Simona after numerous incidents involving planes, cars and a three-quarter-time huddle.
Damian Keogh became the first club chairman to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal. The Cronulla Sharks boss was caught with cocaine, many months after the Sharks won the 2016 premiership.
A full list of nominees, as of time of publication, is outlined below.
|1||Dylan Walker||NRL||Manly Sea Eagles||Accused of involvement in bar brawl in Thailand|
|2||Aaron Gray||NRL||South Sydney Rabbitohs||Accused of involvement in bar brawl in Thailand|
|3||Shaun Kenny-Dowall||NRL||Sydney Roosters||Attacked on social media after poor performance in test against Kangaroos. Arrested for possession of cocaine outside Ivy nightclub.|
|4||Jarryd Hayne||NRL||Gold Coast Titans||Pornographic Images were displayed on screen while he delivered a cyber security talk to school children. Pictured on social media with known criminals.|
|5||Corey Oates||NRL||Brisbane Broncos||Drunken fight with Justin Hodges at pub in Queensland.|
|6||Shane Yarran||AFL||Fremantle Dockers||Charged with assault|
|7||Michael Johnson||AFL||Fremantle Dockers||Pantless assault on a teacher in a kebab shop.|
|8||Vai Toutai||NRL||Parramatta Eels||Glassed a biki at a pub in December 2016. Released from contract by Eels.|
|9||Kenny Edwards||NRL||Parramatta Eels||Charged with domestic violence.|
|10||Semi Radradra||NRL||Parramatta Eels||Charged with domestic violence. Cleared of domestic violence charges.|
|11||Harley Bennell||AFL||Fremantle Dockers||Car impounded after he was caught driving without a licence.
Dropped numerous times for discipline reasons by Gold Coast.
Punished for drinking at drink-free function. Accused of snorting cocaine with house mate Karmichael Hunt. Released by Gold Coast after drunken altercation in Surfers Paradise.
Interrupted a three-quarter time huddle in WAFL game.
Fined $10,000 by Dockers.
Kicked off a domestic flight for alleged intoxication.
|12||Dylan Napa||NRL||Sydney Roosters||Knocked out by a drug addicted cleaner at an exclusive party in Sydney’s northern beaches.|
|13||Jobe Watson||AFL||Essendon Bombers||Returned the Brownlow Medal he won in 2012 after involvement in Essendon supplements program. Also nominated for Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.|
|14||Ben Barba||NRL||Cronulla Sharks, Brisbane Broncos, Canterbury Bulldogs||Tested positive to cocaine for the second time in his career, days after winning 2016 premiership.|
|15||Dane Nielsen||NRL||South Sydney Rabbitohs, St George Illawarra Dragons, Melbourne Storm, NZ Warriors||Arrived hungover to pre-season training.|
|16||Peni Terepo||NRL||Parramatta Eels||Drink driving, car crash, refusing a blood alcohol test, refusing to tell his club about the incident.|
|17||James Roberts||NRL||Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers||Allegedly pulled a woman’s hair in a nightclub, allegedly fell asleep in a taxi, drunk, allegedly driven to an apartment by police after they allegedly bought him a burger.|
|18||Kyle Lovett||NRL||Wests Tigers||Charged with possession of an illicit substance. Tried to hide substance in his underwear. Second nomination for involvement in a street brawl outside a nightclub in Balmain, Sydney.|
|19||Josh Papalii||NRL||Canberra Raiders||Charged with drink driving|
|20||Dean Bouzanis||A-League||Melbourne City||Called Besart Berisha a “f..ken gypsy” during an A-League game|
|21||Tim Simona||NRL||Wests Tigers||Suspended from NRL for betting on games, including games in which he was playing. Refused to raise his unborn child – persuaded ex-girlfriend to have an abortion. Cocaine use. Driving offences, lost his licence. Caught driving without a licence.|
|22||Joel Selwood||AFL||Geelong Cats||Caught speeding, lost licence for a month|
|23||Bryce Cartwright||NRL||Penrith Panthers||Got a girl pregnant. Refused to be a father to the child. Got a fixer to persuade the woman to have an abortion. Dated two women at the same time. Victim of revenge porn from one of those women.|
|24||Jordan De Goey||AFL||Collingwood Magpies||Injured his hand in an incident at a St Kilda nightclub. Lied to Collingwood, said he injured his hand playing with his dog. Forced coach Nathan Buckley to lie to the media about the injury. Fine, suspension, community service.|
|25||Matt Moylan||NRL||Penrith Panthers||Dropped for one game after breaking curfew and leaving team hotel.|
|26||Peta Hiku||NRL||Penrith Panthers, Many Sea Eagles||Dropped for one game after breaking curfew and leaving team hotel.|
|27||Waqa Blake||NRL||Penrith Panthers||Dropped for one game after breaking curfew and leaving team hotel.|
|28||Damian Keogh||NRL||Cronulla Sharks||Chairman of Cronulla Sharks. Stood down from position of Chairman after being arrested for possession of cocaine. First club boss to be nominated.|
|29||Jessie Bromwich||NRL||Melbourne Storm, New Zealand (captain)||Charged with possession of an illicit substance. Claimed he was too drunk to remember the incident. Dropped from Kiwi World Cup team. Dropped as New Zealand captain. Dropped from Melbourne Storm leadership group.|
|30||Kevin Proctor||NRL||Gold Coast Titans, Melbourne Storm||Charged with possession of an illicit substance. Claimed he was too drunk to remember the incident. Dropped from Kiwi World Cup team. Dropped from Gold Coast Titans leadership group.|
|31||Luke Brooks||NRL||Wests Tigers||Charged with involvement in a street brawl outside a nightclub in Balmain, Sydney.|
|32||Josh Reynolds||NRL||Canterbury Bulldogs||Fined $550 and served with an infringement notice for allegedly refusing to leave a nightclub due to intoxication.|
The winner of The Frownlow Medal will be announced later in the year.