From the white witch (red witch has retired), no link tis subscriber only (Essendon sells yet again)
AFL love rat Jake Stringer doesn’t deserve redemption
The redemption of new Essendon recruit Jake Stringer seems almost complete.
How quickly people forget he recently cheated on his pregnant fiancee with a teenager.
Details about Stringer’s disgraceful private life were revealed by his former fiancee Abby Gilmore back in September.
Gilmore told the Herald Sun her personal life was shattered when she received a text from a 17-year-old telling her she was having sex with Stringer.
Their second child was just six-weeks-old when Gilmore was then met with “a seemingly endless parade of girls” who left messages with “in-your-face taunts about their sex sessions” with Stringer, 23, some sending nude photographs of the premiership player.
Gilmore also claimed Stringer had a gambling addiction and had gambled away their life’s savings.
Stringer now has a new football club and a new image that doesn’t seem to be affected by the kind of partner he was to Gilmore. We learn that he’s lost four kilos, is doing boxing training and can’t wait for the new season to start.
His treatment of Gilmore and their two daughters has moved from front page to become a more nebulous “off-field issue”.
What a cop-out for his new club Essendon. For too long football clubs have propped up stars with personal problems as long as they perform on the field.
I wish more clubs would follow the lead of the Geelong Cats and pick “character over talent”, as CEO Brian Cook puts it.
I strongly disagree with footy commentator Mike Sheahan, who said Stringer’s off-field life shouldn’t have anything to do with his sporting career.
Now all the focus is back on Stringer the player, not Stringer the love rat.
He’s “honoured to be handed the No 25 jumper”. He’s “bouncing back”. He’s had a “massive pre-season of toil”.
So, no doubt, has Gilmore, who has the lion’s share of raising their two young daughters.
These days there seems to be little mention of Stringer’s infidelity, which is strange given that two AFL executives — Simon Lethlean and Richard Simkiss — lost their jobs after cheating on their wives with co-workers.
At the time, AFL chief Gillon McLachlan said the two men were role models and “set a standard of behaviour for the rest of the organisation”.
So why don’t we hold AFL players to the same stringent standards?
Now all the focus is on Stringer meeting “some of the club’s off-field expectations around preparation, rehabilitation and diet”.
There’s no mention of what he did to his ex-partner and daughters.
His team mates are reportedly excited to have him on the team and are “impressed by the former Bulldog’s attitude”.
“He is doing all the right things,” one was quoted as saying.
I wonder how Abby Gilmore feels reading that.
“He is a young man and obviously he probably would have done a few things differently,” his team mate said.
“He is just happy to be back and going to go about his work.”
How convenient that Stringer gets to “go about his work” while his ex-fiancee has little choice but to look after his children.
Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell has revealed Bombers officials met with 10-12 people close to Jake Stringer before signing him.
It would appear this group didn’t include Abby Gilmore.