AFL Round 5 – Sydney v Fremantle: The Troy Cook Medal

I owe my love for this great game to two great men. These two men are Derek Kickett and Troy Cook. Both were extremely influential in my embryonic days as an AFL fan. Having grown up in the heart of the NSW countryside, I was stuck in the middle of League Land. My family followed Rugby league, my friends followed Rugby league, I followed Rugby League. Then, one glorious Autumn’s day back in 1994, Mr. Derek Kickett came along with Little Jamie Lawson in toe, magically appearing at my school with one sole purpose (I have convinced myself of this). That purpose was to show me the light! Derek taught me to handball, Derek taught me to kick. Derek played for the Swans, and so it was decided…. I would follow the Swans!

My mate Derek retired on the very day that I first had my heart broken, the 1996 Grand Final. Bloody hell, what have I done to deserve this? My team has lost the big game and my favourite player has hung up the boots! I need a new hero. Enter Mr. Troy Cook. Drafted with pick 26 of that very off-season, he would become the 1277th player to debut for the Swans. It soon became apparent that I had found my new Derek. Cook even curated a similar dreadlocked hairstyle. This boy caught the eye. He would tackle anything that moved and was tough as nails. My type of footballer, very much in the mould of the modern day Blood. Cook played 44 games wearing the no.41 with pride. The second heartbreaking experience of my life involved the trade that saw my mate Cooky move to the Fremantle Dockers. A move, that for some reason, I have always blamed on the Dockers. And so, the new millennium arrived with me having vacated League Land, only to find myself smack-bang in the middle of No Man’s Land.

As time passed, my sadness subsided and the love for my team returned. Round five of the current season, saw my team take on The Enemy at the SCG. That’s right, that very same Enemy who stole my Cooky! I have never forgiven you, Fremantle, and every time we oppose each other, I am reminded of the turmoil that you caused! However, as a man of integrity and good will, I urge the Purple Army to join me in introducing a great initiative that will bring our clubs closer together (I know Kirky will be all for it). I would like to propose that a Troy Cook Medal be struck in honour of the great man. It is surely overdue. My votes for this match will be the first instalment of the Troy Cook Medal.

Now, a week is a long time in footy as we all know. I left the grand old SCG last week hastily adjusting my lofty pre-season expectations. Norf had flogged us. As this match drew closer, I had possibly over reacted to that loss and did the unthinkable. I had tipped against us! The match would be played in unusually dry conditions for Sydney these days, and whilst we started the match clumsily with skills reminiscent of the previous week, our intensity was back. We tackled, we chased, we ran, we smothered. This was footy Troy Cook style. And, although Jets and Buddy both showed uncharacteristically hesitant signs during the first quarter, we stayed with The Enemy and went into the break just one point down thanks to a trademark left footed bullet from Mal and a trademark right footed snap from Mighty Mouse McGlynn.

If the first quarter was promising, the second was wondrous. A four-goal term in a low-scoring match which felt as though we were dominating. McGlynn was everywhere, Kennedy as strong as an ox and Super Ted had returned to vintage form. Recent history does however indicate that matches between these two teams and specifically between these two coaches are agonisingly close. I remind myself of this fact as the second half commences. Cooky would’ve loved this! I wonder if he’s watching…

The premiership quarter begins in an unusual fashion. It’s a shootout! Three goals in the opening four minutes of a term is unheard of against this lot. Buddy kicks his first goal on this hallowed turf and the crowd erupts, little Kenny included. This would be the first of four goals in a performance to ease the hearts and minds of all Bloods brethren. The Swannies look comfortable from this point on and would never surrender the lead. Twenty-two points up at the last change and the signs were encouraging. The debutant Lloyd looks poised and fluent, Jets explodes from a pack and bombs through the big sticks from the arc. Does all this mean that I have to ramp up the expectations again?

The Bloods prevail by seventeen points and I am joyous. We are not done with yet. As I consider my votes for the inaugural Troy Cook Medal, I reflect on the type of player that Cooky would like to see win this prestigious award. As the Swans racked up an impressive 100 tackles, a number that the Carnarvon Kid would’ve been proud of, I decide that the illustrious honour would go to Benny McGlynn, just ahead of Joey Kennedy. In a great team performance, these two amassed sixty-two possessions between them, but McGlynn’s twelve tackles were a thing of rare beauty at a time when it was most appropriate.

Sydney 13.14 (92)

Fremantle 11.9 (75)


Sydney: Franklin 4, McGlynn 2, Malceski, Kennedy, McVeigh, Roberts-Thomson, Parker, B.Jack, Jetta

Fremantle: Pavlich 4, Johnson 2, Ballantyne 2, Mzungu, Mundy


Sydney: McGlynn, Kennedy, Franklin, Hannebery, Parker, Richards, Rampe

Fremantle: Pavlich, Mundy, Fyfe, Johnson, Sandilands


Daigleish, ,Mitchell, Mollison


25,376 at the SCG

Troy Cook Medal Votes:

3 – Ben McGlynn (Sydney)

2 – Josh Kennedy (Sydney)

1- Buddy Franklin (Sydney)




About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979


  1. Peter_B says

    Terrific article Joe. Love the way you weaved the past and present into the story. Derek and Troy were real one-offs, not the clones that modern footy often produces. Welcome aboard the “I hate the Purple Scum” Club. My enemy’s enemy is my friend.

  2. Joe Moore says

    Thanks Peter. You are absolutely right about these guys. Real cult-hero status. Sport in general seems to be losing these genuine characters that the everyday supporter can truly identify with. I have to admit that as a Swans man, the discontent I felt for them has certainly eased through the appointments of Rossy Lyon And Kirky, however I find them still not particularly likeable for some reason. You are obviously an Eagle!

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