Overheard at Essendon again: A post Cronulla deal chat between a worried player and EFC official

1.25pm Tuesday 28th August, Essendon Training Centre,

Player: Have you got a second?

Official: Yeah sure, come in. Hey, didn’t we talk a few weeks ago?

Player: Yes we talked about the Federal Court case, that I was worried about the ongoing situation, and you assured me that I didn’t take any drugs. You told me to trust you.

Official: And you didn’t put in any money for Hirdy’s welcome back present.

Player: Well, I was a little more focussed on my own situation to be honest.

Official: It’s not too late. Have you seen him? He looks great. He’s come back with a great tan.

Player: Naturally

Official: Well, I hope it’s happened naturally. Last time he took the tanning tablets and injections Dank gave him, he went a strange yellow colour! (laughs)

Player: Do you think that’s a helpful comment right now?

Official: No, sorry, just trying to add some levity. So, what can I do for you?

Player: Well, there’s all this talk in the paper about a deal and the Board discussing it and I’m confused.

Official: Oh don’t be. This could be great. Paul wants the Government to make it go away, and it just could. ASADA may want to offer us a deal. The AFL love deals. It could be all over.

Player: So when was I going to find out about it?

Official: Come again?

Player: When was someone going to tell me?

Official: Well, we told Mark Robinson, and there’s lots of copies of the Herald Sun at reception when you walk in.

Player: From what I gather, there are aspects of the deal that involve me and if I am guilty or not.

Official: Haven’t we been through this before, trust me, you are not guilty of anything.

Player: These potential deals look a bit like what happened at Cronulla.

Official: Our situation is completely different to Cronulla.

Player: Didn’t Stephen Dank oversee a drugs program at Cronulla, that the coach didn’t know about, which has led to ASADA investigations. And didn’t they have an issue with proper notes about what was administered not being kept appropriately, leading to the players not knowing if they were injected with performance enhancing drugs too?

Official: Ok, so it’s a little like Cronulla.

Player: And those players had to admit they were drug cheats.

Official: But that was just to make the investigation go away. And they only miss three games. It’s a great deal

Player: It’s just that the players had to admit to the world that they cheated and took drugs and played under the influence of performance enhancing drugs. They had to admit to breaking the laws of the game. Of being cheats. They are now on a public register. And they still don’t know what went into their system and any side effects or long lasting impacts they may suffer. They will always be considered drug cheats.

Official: We’ll they aren’t real drug cheats. Just pretend drug cheats

Player: How does that matter?

Official: Well, if they were real drug cheats, they’d lose titles, or medals, or payments, or reputations, or the chance to play for their country ever again. They’d lose sponsorships, endorsements, maybe even their contracts. These guys just got the chance to get a head start on Mad Monday

Player: But they are admitted drug cheats

Official: But that’s only because ASADA can’t completely prove they took drugs, so they offered them a deal to say they took drugs.

Player: Why don’t ASADA know what they took?

Official: Because Stephen Dank hasn’t spoken to them and he didn’t keep accurate notes.

Player: But I should trust you because the Cronulla situation isn’t anything like us, right?

Official: Now you get it, I knew you’d come around.

Player: Just as an aside, how are things going here internally to find out what I was injected with in 2012?

Official: We’ve been putting our resources and money more into clearing the club’s name through the Federal Court and the Herald Sun.

Player: So what happens if the Federal Court action we took doesn’t succeed?

Official: It will, trust me

Player: But if it doesn’t

Official: Oh, don’t worry, we’ll still play in the finals. He’s not going to make a decision until after September. We’ll be right!

Player: And when he decides?

Official: Then there might be another deal. You could get offered the chance to plead guilty, but only miss a few weeks of pre-season. No games, it’s a sweet deal.

Player: But I’ll have to admit I was a drug cheat to get that to happen.

Official: If it’s like the Cronulla deal, then yes.

Player: But our situation isn’t like Cronulla you say?

Official: Course now. They’re a pack of bloody cowboys up there.

Player: Sharks actually

Official: Them too

Player: And I may have to admit to having done something really bad, even though no one knows if I did, to make it go away and not risk our 2015 season. And I’ll never know what I was injected with.

Official: Exactly! I knew you’d come around. Can I get you to sign up now?

Player: It’s not really much of a deal for me then is it.

Official: Well, I’ve always been a urine sample half-full sort of guy. Get it, urine sample! Drugs test! I crack me up.

Player: Door slams, leaves

Official: Bugger, he still didn’t put in for Hirdy’s present. Hope he drops by again.

Sings: See the Bombers fly up, up….

Fade to black (and red)

About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Brilliant Sean and spot on !

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Only one comment so far – is this a measure of how much we (no longer) care about this ?

    Or are we just drawing breath until we hear from Justice Middleton?

  3. Mark

    Possibly the readers of the Almanac are just becoming more and more discerning and simply over reading the rantings of this ridiculous bloke who clearly thinks he is funny, clever and insightful, only to be revealed as a muppet, dead set on flogging whatever laughs he can from this issue?


  4. I like it Sean, keep em coming. :-)

    Better than never getting a laugh from it. This is funny and scary, cos without much alteration it could well be frighteningly close to real conversations.

  5. Barkly St End says

    May as we’ll mine for comedic value, as we go from the ridiculous to the sublime…..

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