Looking after the ducklings

signRoss called me into his office at the start of the year.
“Frankie,” he said, “I’m putting you in charge of the ducklings.”
I tilted my head to one side and looked him in the eye.

• “The new recruits.
• “Little bit cocky.
• “Bit of swagger.
• “Someone needs to keep an eye on them.”
If you listen long enough to Ross there comes a time when you understand what he’s talking about. Sometimes. This time he meant the new kids we’d picked up in the draft.

There was Lachie (Quackie) Weller,  Connor (Black Swan) Blakely, Ed (Duck) Langdon and Josh (Daffy) Deluca.

So I made sure the ducklings had a smooth transition into the AFL. They still follow me everywhere and the main thing is making sure they don’t walk out in front of cars. Especially when they go to Peel.

watching   Me keeping an eye on the ducklings. One, two, three… whoops… where’s Daffy?

Ross said it would be good for my leadership and maturity but I think really the coaches just don’t like ducklings that much – not until they’ve put on a bit of weight. When the season started and people started saying me and Fyfey were the best players in the AFL I thought maybe being like a mum to the ducklings had made a difference and soon I might be captain material like Son Son.

But then for the last couple of weeks I’ve found myself looking after West Coast Eagle ducklings and Sydney Swan ducklings. And I realised that even though I’m a good mentor, sometimes I get a bit ahead of myself.

Like when we came in at half-time of the Eagle-ducklings game and I was barking my head off and Pav said: “Don’t get ahead of yourself Frankie.” I gave him my serious look but was thinking, ‘Lighten up Pav.”

Like when we came it at half-time of the Swan-ducklings game and I was barking and jumping up almost as high as Sandi’s shin and Pav said: “Don’t get ahead of yourself Frankie.” I gave him my serious look but was thinking, ‘Jeese Pav it’s not 2001.’

As usual Pav was right so this week you can expect to see four quarters from me and the boys against the Dee-ducklings.
And keep an eye out for Quackie, Black Swan, Duck and Daffy when Peel Thunder plays the Black Ducks out at Bassendean – they’re all well trained and pretty soon one of them is going to break his duck and make his AFL debut… and you know who will deserve the credit for that don’t you?


3 thoughts on “Looking after the ducklings

  1. Not that I would ever question your on-field value Frankie, I think the club recruited a champ when they got you, it is not only what you do in front of the curtain but also the behind the scenes stuff too. Wish the Pies had that foresight.

  2. Aloha Frankie
    There are many ducklings and chickens on Maui that you could coach. They wander all over the place. It’s just like Little League where everyone wants to play midfield.

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