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Jolly’s cheap shots are poor form

Andrew Sutherland Roar Guru

By Andrew Sutherland, Andrew Sutherland is a Roar Guru

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    I was reading Darren Jolly’s Age column on sledging this week when I came across a reference to his former Collingwood teammate Josh Fraser: “I’m sure if he’d had a better attitude, we could have had a good ruck combination and he would have continued at the Pies for a bit longer.”

    Jolly was referring to what he thought was Fraser’s “acrimonious” response to his arrival at the club from Sydney towards the end of 2009, possibly inspired by a serious bout of sledging Jolly had engaged in when they last played each other.

    It smacked of arrogance: he was the greater ruckman, so Fraser had to go. It also suggests he may have been partly responsible (Jolly was made a member of the Fraser-less leadership group almost immediately on his arrival from Sydney) for Fraser’s departure at the end of 2010.

    But the worst was to come, as Jolly compared Fraser to current new teammate Ben Hudson: “When I found out he [Hudson] was going to be my teammate, like with Josh, I wondered how it was going to be.

    “But from the moment Huddo walked through the Collingwood doors, he has been nothing but a great bloke. He’s the perfect example of a prick on field and great bloke off field.”

    So the not so subtle insinuation is that Fraser is a prick both on and off the field.

    Alienating and demeaning Fraser by complimenting Hudson continued unabated: “I enjoy working alongside Huddo because he’s someone who enjoys a laugh with the boys and loves hearing what the boys thought of him when they played against him and can have a laugh at himself.”

    The thought of “Huddo” and “Jolls” having a laugh with the “boys” at the expense of poor Fraser, who apparently wasn’t one of the boys, was making me feel nauseous.

    It must have spawned an anger in Fraser that his tweets only hinted at: “I could not care less, I have bigger priorities than to engage in a slanging match.”

    And then the final nail in the coffin of Fraser, who I assumed was a Magpie favourite – among the fans, at least – came with:

    “He [Hudson] has a great attitude and that’s one of the reasons Collingwood wanted him”.

    So Collingwood didn’t want Fraser because he had a poor attitude, and not because he had ruined his body over a 200-game career which had begun too early on account of Collingwood’s poor ruck stocks in 2000.

    The topic of sledging is an interesting one and some examples given by Jolly (eg Dane Swan’s ‘Stop playing mate, you’re no good’, ‘What’s your name spud?’ and ‘What time does training finish?’) are great but the arrogant and vindictive treatment of Fraser soured the whole article.

    Jolly makes no attempt to understand why he thought Fraser responded to him the way he did. Dale Thomas said he could understand why Fraser would have been angry over Jolly’s recruitment but didn’t notice any poor behaviour from Fraser at the time.

    Interestingly, when asked if he supported Fraser, Thomas denied it but brought up the possibility of Jolly writing an article about him: “Jolls is a current teammate of mine so there is no point in me potting him and him writing articles about me, no one wants that.”

    Choosing to sledge a former teammate (ironically in an article on sledging) was a poor decision by Jolly. It is bad for the morale of a club that is struggling and on the verge of dropping out of the eight.

    More importantly, it reflects poorly on Jolly himself. If the online comments are anything to go by, many people, including some Pie fans, suspect he may be a bit of a prick off the field himself.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • May 12th 2013 @ 8:14pm
      Richard said | May 12th 2013 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

      All is not well in the Pies camp.

    • May 12th 2013 @ 9:10pm
      Floreat Pica said | May 12th 2013 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

      Methinks you are right. Eddie vs Swan, Lloyd claiming Daisy ‘only playing for a raise next year’, Pendlebury citing laziness, Jolly having a go at a former team-mate (especially a 200-gamer being obviously sidelined to let him in). Where there is smoke..

      Given their publicised issues this year it is only Essendon, Brisbane, GWS or Melbourne who have the pressure on them for any sort of reason for this sort of internal bickering- admirably absent.

    • May 12th 2013 @ 10:00pm
      Shmick said | May 12th 2013 @ 10:00pm | ! Report

      Football isn’t a soap opera. Get on with playing the game and leave the pot-shots to the self-enjoying journos.

    • May 12th 2013 @ 11:38pm
      johnhunt92 said | May 12th 2013 @ 11:38pm | ! Report

      I was just about to write an article on this but you beat me to the punch.

      The articles by Darren Jolly have explored some really interesting topics. However any wisdom seems to be negated by a couple of paragraphs that slate people he has come across.

      Be bagged Neale Daniher for no reason, he cited Kevin Bartlett’s age as a reason for him to step down when a wiser man would have used many other reasons and then he simply tore apart Josh Fraser. It seems his thoughts are space filler until he gets to bagging someone.

      Someone needs to counsel him on this

      • Roar Guru

        May 13th 2013 @ 5:10pm
        Andrew Sutherland said | May 13th 2013 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

        You have enough material there to still write your article john 🙂

    • Roar Guru

      May 13th 2013 @ 8:43am
      Redb said | May 13th 2013 @ 8:43am | ! Report

      For his part Josh Fraser has showed he is the bigger man and has refused to nip back with any venom.

      A Collingwood supporting mate of mine suggests the game plan has not adapted to this years brand which is all about fast movement, long kicking and lightning fast handball. The forward press is still alive but teams have found a way through it.

      In the end, if the hunger is not there its time to move a few players on at season end.

      • May 14th 2013 @ 11:56am
        Blind Bomber said | May 14th 2013 @ 11:56am | ! Report

        Fraser hasn’t got the newspaper column, so no one knows what he thinks about it. He could be bitching to anyone and everyone, but no one knows or cares in Queensland really.

        Fact is, he was seen as soft for a big man. He’s not that skilled, he’s a long way off Goodes. Averaged less than 1 goal per game throughout his career with the Pies, despite them being a finals team with lots of opportunity.

        Massively over rated for the sympathy given here. The comments were ungracious, but not untrue and say just as much about Jolly and how we might perceive him.

        I’ve met him and he’s a nice bloke, not that it counts for anything. I’d take a good player on my team who’s a very average person (and there are plenty to choose from in footy) anyday. Case in point Dane Swan.

    • May 13th 2013 @ 1:27pm
      Brendan said | May 13th 2013 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

      Glad you wrote this article Andrew i read the Age column by Jolly and thought it was a pointless piece of writing.Jolly could learn from Fraser that sledging belongs on the field not off it.

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