General Footy Writing: A word of thanks for Glenn Manton

I will never forget my Year 11 retreat day.

Retreats in all-girl schools usually mean one thing: crying.

The retreat I remember the most was Year 9 and it was the last ‘Footsteps’ session.

The whole year level was lying on the carpet in a dark hall crying our eyes out as girls made up with their ex- friends, thanked their current friends … just imagine a whole year level, a hall full of crying girls.

During that session we were told to close our eyes and picture ourselves at about Year 6.

Just like magic there in my mind was a clear picture of that younger Danielle in her primary school dress looking pretty innocent, I might add.

We were told that we knew what would happen to this child in the next few years and that we could only give her one piece of advice to help her through.

My immediate reaction was: I wanted to give the younger Danielle a whole list of what not to do.

But I simply said to her: “Don’t give up.”

I don’t know why, but it was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw my younger self looking back at me.

As the lights flickered on, feeling teary I looked around at the emotional faces around me. At that point it clicked that for just that instant all the girls were equal, no one was criticising or being judgemental; during that one imaginary session we were all discovering ourselves.

That is why I will never forget that one retreat and looked forward to today’s retreat.

To my surprise this retreat caused no tears whatsoever, which is good considering that my eye make-up wasn’t waterproof.

We ventured by bus to Eltham Community and Reception Centre.

The retreat was not boring and full of information that I didn’t care about;  in fact it was great!

We listened to Glenn Manton’s antics, which at times caused fits of uncontrollable laughter and at other times earned complete silence and undivided attention.

Does his name sound familiar? It should, especially to Carlton supporters.

Glenn was drafted in 1994 as pick 27.

He played a few games for Essendon but more at Carlton, where he retired in 2003 at the age of 30.

His performance was humorous, entertaining and, most importantly,  touching. His theatrical convention use was brilliant.

To keep a whole year level of Year 11 girls interested in what you are saying is hard, but to make them walk away having kept something from your words is priceless.

This was the effect Glenn Manton had on me.

He opened up to us in sharing with us the precise moment that changed his life as a 17-year-old.

Glenn explained to us that he had some problems at our age and how in a fit of rage he put his arm through a 5cm-thick glass window. His surgeon said he would never use his arm again and stressed the biggest issue he had to address was his personality.

This story has more behind it, but I do not feel it is my place to report on the finer details.

Glenn’s honesty captured the hearts of the girls. I personally was in a mix of shock and disbelief, as were the many girls around me.

The incident at 17 caused Glenn to see that there really was something wrong. In the future it enabled him to reach out to other teenagers who were battling their own demons.

In 1999 Glenn co-founded Whitelion to help young people at risk find work and find acceptance in the community.

He has also been involved in journalism and his inspirational story had me approaching him for a quick chat. I informed him about my writing for the Almanac and my aspirations of becoming a sports journalist.

Glenn then said to me:

“Let me just tell you one thing, just as advice. Write what you want to write and how you want to write, that’s all that matters.”

From Glenn’s performance I was able to learn about myself and how I come across to others. I learnt about communication and how they mould with relationships.

Most importantly I learnt that it’s up to me to make the right choice, to be mature and in control of who I am.

Through the wise words of Glenn Manton I have realised that:

“It’s MY laundry line and it’s up to ME to put up my laundry.”

About Danielle Eid

Im 23, cute and most importantly im the Collingwood Football Club's very own PRINCESS!! :) A Latrobe Uni graduate from Bachelor of Journalism. Admirer of Samantha Lane and Jon Ralph. Not your typical 'Robot Journalist' Loves Alex Fasolo


  1. pauldaffey says


    I wish I’d approached school retreats with the same honesty and insight when I was 16.

    I had no idea. But then I don’t think my unworldly 16-year-old mates had much idea either. I can’t help but think that girls are far more advanced than boys at that age, and many ages afterwards.

    Glenn Manton is right when he says you should write what you want. Except when the editor wants you to do otherwise, of course.

  2. Thanks Paul. :)
    i find that retreats always end up giving me a piece of my own puzzle.
    Not only are they relaxing but i seem to get heaps out of them in the self discovery department.
    Yes i have to say that MOST girls are more advanced than boys but some Almanac boys who are in year 9 write like they are in year 12! very impressive! :)

    Glenn Manton is really an inspiration i feel so lucky to have seen him in action.

    Danni :)

  3. Josh Barnstable says

    What is a school retreat? First i’ve ever heard of one. This is probably a dumb question lol

  4. As Smart teachers would say:
    “there’s no such thing as a dumb question.”

    A school retreat is a day to get away from work and the school with your year level.
    retreats go for a whole day and have recreational types of activities.

  5. Steve Healy says

    We went to a Reach thingo in Frankston earlier this year, I think that was a retreat. Thanks for the compliment Danielle, because a lot of people think I act younger than I am, not older.

    I remember hearing that Glenn Manton was one of those people. This brings back memories of me listening to the radio as a kid. “Manton kicks across the ground to Christou, and Misiti is hot on his tail!”

  6. Michael Allan says

    No year levels have ‘retreats’ at my school. I wish we did. A day off school sounds pretty good to me.

  7. Josh Barnstable says

    Well my school has never had one, unless you can count school camps. This year’s school camp is to Uluru. I’m leaving on Sunday week but i miss the two Preliminary Finals and the Brownlow Medal! I’d seriously consider staying home just to watch those.

  8. ohhhhhhhh!!! thats BAD!!
    you dont think anything will be happening on Sep the 18TH???

  9. Josh Barnstable says

    What’s happening on September 18?

  10. My formal!
    And ive already paid for the ticket, bought a new dress, new shoes, new jewelry and made my hairdressser appointment!!
    ohh god imagine if for some reason Collingwood end up playing that night!!!

  11. Steve Healy says

    Why Wouldn’t they Danni? It’s Friday night, so if you want Collingwood to play in the prelims there’s a 50% chance of you missing the game.

  12. OMJ!
    well…atleast it will make an interesting match report if it does happen.
    No doubt ill be dying at the formal and will have to txt my uncle for the score.

  13. Josh Barnstable says

    Good luck with that!

  14. Josh i have to say that i noticed two things from North’s last game.
    1. Swallow hugged Crocker! SO NOT FAIR, CROCKER DOESNT LOVE HIM LIKE I DO!!

    2. Alan Obst! VERY IMPRESSIVE! he pretty cute and he was distracting me from my English Homework!!

  15. Damian Watson says

    Glenn Manton was certainly one of the more underrated defenders in the comp while in his heyday in the 90’s, he was a courageous defender alongside Silvagni and Christou.

    I remember when he was on The Footy Show a few years back, he was a funny man, he and Sam Newman would often have hilarious conversations.

  16. Damian, you are deff right about him being funny. i had stiches in my stomach form laughing at his attempt to…’FLY’
    i wish i could have him and Dave Hughes in the same room at the same time, id probably die from laughter! :)

  17. Andrew Starkie says

    great report, Danielle. The reference to Footsteps made me shudder.

  18. Eltham Community and Reception Centre? I had my graduation there, and in year 8 often went to ballroom dancing nights with some friends. Main reason was because of the hot girls, to be honest.

    I’ve had those “retreat” things twice. The first time the room was full of crying girls. The second time was this year on our year 11 camps, and we were split up by sex. One boy burst into tears, and he was one of the most masculine boys in the year, almost all the boys actually left with a newfound respect for him.

  19. lol Adam you just my best piece on the site, all the oldies (older almankers) love this entry.

    yeah..retreats always bring tears.. but in a good way.

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