Danny Frawley’s Bravery


(Yoshi lives in Japan from where he follows his beloved Saints. He writes about sport in English – which is his second language. Yoshi is visiting Melbourne for the Sports Writers’ Festival at the end of the month. He would love to catch up with any of the Almanac crew while he is here. Yoshi and I will be having dinner together at the North Fitzroy Arms on Friday October 27. All welcome. Just let us know if you would like to join us.)


by Yoshi


At the weekend, former St Kilda champion and Richmond coach Danny Frawley revealed his health issues in an exclusive interview with Hamish McLachlan on an SEN podcast.


I couldn’t imagine he has faced such a path from his humourous attitudes shown on the radio. But his condition had been hidden and kept private. He is a human being.


Spud had been working at the AFL Coach’s Association. But the Essendon saga in 2013 affected him a lot.


Three sleepless weeks hit Frawley first. He hadn’t thought of any mental health issues at that time.


One night after footy coverage, he couldn’t do anything at the MCG car park. No one was there, so he called his wife asking her to pick him up.


Then he has seen a GP and then a psychiatrist. Danny was diagnosed with a nervous breakdown.


His challenge started and he was so scared to open his minds to the public about his health and how then employer Triple M would report about his absence.


In the interview, he revealed his youth as a farm boy. Being competitive was expected as a son of a spud farmer.


So he drank a lot trying to be the best amongst young guys and such attitudes brought him to play footy.


I guess his always being competitive farm culture was good on footy field and captaining the club (St Kilda).


But on the other hand, he has been put much under the pressure that caused depression later in his life.


When Essendon saga occurred, much pressures made on media as well as negative comments must have exploded in his minds as a AFL coach association committee.


Frawley has got a lot of support from his family – wife and three daughters. And he made positive changes in his life.


Spud is happy to help people, so coaching is what he wants to do with passion. He had coaching roles in junior and girls footy. During the interview, he appreciates St Kilda Football Club to have him as an assistant coach (part time defence coach).


Doing what people really are willing makes us happy and must improve such tough conditions. Danny shows us a good model by achieving his goals so that he overcame his condition.


Meanwhile he started playing golf and enjoys his new activity. Doing new things will keep positive for everyone, I think.


And he made remarkable comments on the interview. Spud urges us to open our minds to feel better.


Many people including my friends suggest others to be positive. Negative thoughts can’t change anything. It’s not wrong.


But he is not happy about hiding real feelings. Pretending being okay will worsen conditions, I guess that happened to Frawley and admit happened to me.


For me, not expressing my thoughts and opinions is so stressful and not being heard makes me feeling rejected and isolated.


It’s okay not being okay. It’s okay for men to cry. It’s okay to ask for help.


His suggestion hugging a man to express I am here to listen and help is great and agreed. It expresses how he is willing to help others.


Depression is not uncommon these days, so why not opening minds and discussing? That’s another of Danny Frawley’s suggestion.


And he mentioned audience that farmers are more stressed these days as many farm works have been replaced by machines from manual labours so they have no one to talk.


Having no one to talk is bad for our health. I sense from my experiences. And I need a broad social network for good.


Spud’s story is so positive. His encouragements and positive thinking are what we can learn and adopt.


Even it would be a tough and hard path, I will work hard to achieve my goal being a professional writer even I may have to have another job to gain enough income. Passions will bring us positive outcome in our life, like Frawley coaching my boys at St Kilda.


It’s a good lesson for us and the interview can be listened at



Be well folks!


Yoshi is coming to Australia for the Sports Writers festival in Melbourne.


Lifeline (and hyperlink the word Lifeline to: https://www.lifeline.org.au/Get-Help/ ) is a free and confidential support service which can be reached on 13 11 14.

Beyond Blue (and link that to https://www.beyondblue.org.au/) can be reached on 1300 22 46 36.


About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Thanks for this, Yoshi.

    I will try to get across town to NFA

  2. Malby Dangles says

    Thanks for bringing this interview to our attention.

    It is really important to hear about this. When I saw that Danny Frawley was discussing his mental health issues I was shocked. His radio persona is confident and loud and not really to my liking. I had the thoughts he mentioned in the interview where people couldn’t understand how a successful person like him was struggling.

    I applaud his candour in speaking up and going into detail about his battle with depression, and his honesty even when it made him look bad. I hope this helps those who are in the same situation.

    I hope that Danny Frawley’s interview has helped you, Yoshi. I think you made some good points about men being brave enough to try to talk through our problems with friends.

    Thanks again for your post, Yoshi. Best of luck with your writing

  3. G’day and thanks for your comments Smokie and Malb,

    Smokie – No worries. I hope to see you at NFA in a week. Can’t wait going to Melbourne.

    Malby – It’s really sad that successful people’s down sides are not understood. That’s why Spud hadn’t opened his minds until the interview, I think. His suggestion of doing what you are really passionate of is what I truelly agree with. Sticking with jobs that I don’t enjoy is stressful even I have to do to live in this world. However I have to find and get an opportunity to do what I like and enjoy. Life is too short so we should enjoy the life, I think.



  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Yoshi, Thank you so much for this wonderful piece.
    I wish Danny the best and I hope it can be a lesson for all to not be afraid to seek help and re-discover life.

  5. G’day Phil,

    Thanks for your comment and I also wish people can be fearless seeking a help. Re-discovdering life is good in my opinion to seek an opportunity to the better life path.

    Looking back and finding what we have missed is not a regeret but to seek solutions for the bright future.



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