How to survive THE Malthouse

by Danni Eid

“Mick Malthouse is very keen ….in your press conference assignment.”

The above sentence that doesn’t seem to make sense isn’t a hidden message. Basically it’s all my brain had to take in before I went into meltdown mode. Mick Malthouse is keen to be interviewed by my class mates, by us, BY ME for our live press conference assignment?!  Facial expression ->   O.O !!!!

Let’s face it the man scares me and that’s only when he’s on the TV screen. I admit to a love/hate relationship, yeah…for sure.

Have you seen his death glare???…One look is all you need, it’s fatal!

And dont wanna get him angry either… lolll

I need to get into contact with Luke Ball, apparently he was Mick’s star student; he could give me some pointers. Or Daisy…yeah Daisy was his favourite.  Would a possible kick to kick with Mick beforehand get me some points? And how do I contain my nerves!!!???

I have always felt sorry for the young journalists who try to interview Mick at press conferences…TRY being the main word, and now there’s a slight chance I will be in their position.                                      What will I do if he turns my innocent terrified question into something I didn’t consider? Or worse, what if he answers my question with something worthy of being in a fortune cookie?!! Yep I’m already terrified and he’s not even formally book in for it yet.

While I probably won’t be able to eat that morning, Mick probably eats young journalists for breakfast…..yikes!  O.O

Surely he will be on his game, the whole point of the assignment is to provide a realistic setting to grade us on how well we handle ourselves in a live press conference.

Oh and did I mention that I really REALLY don’t want to say something stupid, even the pro journos do it sometimes but id like to avoid looking like a bimbo in front of Mick.

And so I ask, dearest Almanac family, do you have any tips or suggestions to survive (this possible) Malthouse press conference?


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. Danni, my first piece of advice would be not to mention that MICHAEL MALTHOUSE is an anagram of I AM MOUSTACHE HELL.

    Just be you – you’re a natural. :-)

  2. Dave Nadel says

    Danni, You are a Collingwood supporter. Mick is the only man to coach a Collingwood premiership in your lifetime. This should be a shoo-in. Ask him about all the players that you both like. (Don’t ask him about Jack) Ask him about how he (and Eddie) changed the Club’s culture. Ask him about indigenous players and his role in fostering them at the club. I know that you are not as fond of him as I am but he should be a hero to you. He coached the club we both love to a Premiership.

  3. Richard Naco says

    Gigs’ second paragraph was gold. Danni Eid is very switched on, so all you have to be is Danni Eid. Ask a question, listen to the response, & then let that answer be the lead to the next question in a normally flowing conversation.

  4. Mark Doyle says

    Ask open ended questions that require a considered and broad response. Mick Malthouse’s reputation with the sports media as humourless and surly was because most football journalists asked either closed or loaded questions designed to get a cheap headline. I believe that Malthouse was justified in treating these questions with disdain. I think Malthouse is probably an interesting person with a broad range of interests because I once heard Warwick Hadfield say on ABC radio national that he was one of the few AFL people who listened to this radio station. I also think that he was a great coach at all three AFL clubs.

  5. That’s so exciting Danni!

    Take in what all the above Almanackers have said. Remember, he’s interested in doing this! So he’s not going to automatically hate everyone :-) He wants to help students out. As scary as he may seem, he’s also brilliant. And if you can handle Mick Malthouse, well, then you know you can handle anything. ;)

    Like Mark said, keep the questions open-ended. Don’t try to trap him or accuse him of anything. If you show a genuine interest in what he has to say, then he will be more forthcoming. Be nice to him, and he’ll be nice to you.

    And good luck! :D

  6. Gigs thanks for getting this up so fast! and if i didn’t love you i would be very offended at that collingwood comment! -.- lol
    A natural in writing maybe…but interviewing…live…hmm

    Dave, how would Mick know who i go for, id wear my jumper BUT we have to dress like journos so ill jst go with an I HEART JACK ANTHONY t-shirt lol :P
    Those are great ideas for questions, thanks!
    And id probably hug him for 2010 but its too unprofessional haha.

    i can barely survive a small chat with a footy player so this will be interesting.
    Last year’s class had Aker..apparently he was a handful.

    Thanks for the pointers Mark!

    Maria, if i die during this i leave all my teddybears to you!

  7. Great opportunity Danni. Please, please, please ask him why he stuck to the boundary line game for 30 years and why he did not move Tarrant onto Hawkins earlier in last year’s GF? If he can answer those two questions with any depth you would be well on the way to being the next Caro.

    Seriously, I’m sure you’ll do well. Be yourself and focus on the gap between his eyes as you speak to him. That way the ‘moustache hell’ that Gigs unearthed won’t intimidate you. :)

  8. OH those are great questions Phil! :)
    if he does answer them PROPERLY i will let you know his reasons!

  9. You mean Sam Lane*, Phil ;)

    Maria, I promise that if that should happen, I would take very good care of your teddies, even the ones named after Collingwood/Freo players. That is how nice I am :p

  10. yes SAM LANE *bows down* <3 :)
    AND THAT is why id leave them with YOU Maria :)

  11. Danni,

    I think a good idea would be to have a couple of non-football questions (and as Mark Doyle and Susie suggest, avoid gotchas). MM seems to have interests beyond football. I recall his taking part in environmental campaigns in WA (forestry issues, iirc). He also seems to have a stable family life, so his opinions on bringing up kids might be worth teasing out. I’d even consider asking him about his views on feminism.

    Because he’ll be expecting football topics, open-ended questions of this kind might lead to his saying something particularly interesting.

  12. Peter Baulderstone says

    Lots of good suggestions from Almanackers.
    How about “how much can coaches tell the truth in interviews and press conferences? Are they always having to tell half the story to protect themselves and their club’s interests? Who do you are more honest in interviews – footy coaches or politicians?”
    I agree with the general consensus that Mick is a very thoughtful man, who created the nasty interview face to further his team interests (especially in a then one team town like Perth where the media was all over the Eagles and he needed to keep them away from the team). That is why Woosha is mono-syllabic, and why a motor mouth like Connolly was a flop.
    My feeling is that most coaches and politicians are much moer insightful than their public utterances. The world is in shades of grey, but the media and most people can only take black and white/yes and no/good or bad. Most issues and decisions are a blend of pluses and minuses. Decided on the balance. But discussing it publicly gets you portrayed as indecisive.
    At the end of the day we only care about results from coaches and pollies, not the process for achieving them. There minds and time are full of that process, but they cannot discuss it, so they fill the alloted time with drivel and evasion.
    Have fun. I reckon most coaches would be great to talk with, once they are out of the hot seat. That is why Blight and Matthews and Eade made great TV commentators.

  13. Richard Naco says

    Talk about family, and the impact that such a time devouring career has upon simply raising a family. His kids seem to have dome alright despite his focus and intensity being elsewhere for so long, so enquiring about how he balanced the various facets of his life would probably interest him as well.

    Mark has already pointed out that there is far more than one facet to this diamond.

  14. Danni,

    go straight for the jugular.

    Ask him a question relating to the Ides of March and dirty politics where great leaders have been assasinated by a hostile senate.

    “E tu Eddie”

  15. John Butler says

    Ask him about his days starting out in Ballarat Danni.

    And don’t show fear. :)

  16. Thanks for all the feedback!
    the problem with asking him questions off the footy topic is that i fear he
    will dismiss it as well OFF TOPIC? :S
    im pretty sure a journo once inquired after one of his grandchilden to which Mick (harshly) shrugged off
    the question as inappropriate/off topic.
    so that might be awkward….. :/

  17. Danni, I suspect all family questions will definitely be off-topic. But if you really want to get Mick talking about family, you could try the “back-door” approach with a question such as, “do you think becoming a grandparent made you a better coach?”

  18. Mark Doyle says

    Danni, I think you should be wary of asking questions about his private life and focus on his public life and anything that is on the public record.

    Alovesupreme, what was his involvement with WA Forestry issues? Did he chain himself to a loggers truck or lay on the road to block the trucks? Or was his involvement passive rather than active?

  19. Danni, best of luck. Mick was my fave Richmond player when I was a kid, I wore his No. 7 on my back, so have always been a fan. I also see him as a deep thinker, but flawed in many ways last year (I believe that he will look back on the St Kilda interaction re. the Milne rapist comment with regret later on)

    I’d be genuinely interested in how he felt about the responsibility of being the coach, to all the supporters who had so much of their lives invested in the club and its performamce.

    I have always been worried about the level of commitment many supporters (and Collingwood is the same as many other clubs, although with a larger supporter base) have for their club, and how their lives, emotions, relationships etc. get ruled by the club’s weekend performmace.

    All Almanackers love the game but I think we have a balanced approach. I see many people at games and the annual club family days for whom it is clear football means too much. I wonder if he ever thought about how much they had invested in the game and how what he did as a coach would impact on their lives for the remainder of the week. I am not sure of he woudl see that as his responsibility or that the supporters needed to get a more realistic and balanced outlook.

    All the best anyway, you’ll be great!

  20. Ask him if now that he’s no longer a full-time coach, is he enjoying the time it gives him to indulge other passions, like I don’t know… riding dodgem cars?

  21. Danni – give your own mean stare back. See how he likes that!

  22. Imagine him naked, then he’ll be less intimidating….I think.

    Take comfort from the thought that after many press conferences with Mick, it was him that came out looking churlish rather than the journalists looking silly.

  23. I was going to say imagine him naked – or sitting on the toilet – but Pete stole my thunder.

    Ask a Dorothy Dixer about Adrian Anderson’s impact on the game, in particular the sub rule, and you’ll be off to a flying start. Follow up with what else he ‘detests’ and he’ll hopefully have it all out of his system. Wrap it up with some q’s on how he proposes to solve a) the AFL’s ills b) conflict in the Middle East c) world hunger d) gridlock on the Swan St Bridge and e) climate change

  24. Danni,
    wear a moustache and Mick might think he has a kindred spirit.
    Then ask him if leaving Dean Laidley and Scott Watters on the bench for the 92 (I think) West Coast Grand Final turned them into coaches or made them better coaches.

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