Jezza, it’s time to call Fabulous Phil

The season’s heaviest suspension has been handed to GWS gun forward Jeremy Cameron. Five weeks on the sidelines after a raised elbow from Cameron clashed with Brisbane Lions defender Harris Andrews. Andrews suffered a nasty concussion and it was later revealed during the week that a minor amount of bleeding on the brain had occurred.

Many in the AFL pundit class played, as media commentator Gary Lyon dubbed,  “media poker” with regards to some of the name calling and descriptions becoming grandiose in their bitterness.

Cameron is no angel that is patently clear after this incident. He has prior form with regards to the tribunal and suspensions. Unmuted aggression is an annoying part of his game that he needs to iron out otherwise his career will be full of missed opportunities and regret. There are many players who are haunted by their on-field indiscretions which had serious ramifications come finals time. There is a saying in American sports being “don’t leave points on the field” In AFL it could be don’t leave glory on the field.

Since Jeremy Cameron is named after the legendary Carlton full forward Alex Jesaulenko, Cameron could re-visit another part of football history and could empathize and learn something from former Collingwood superstar in Phil Carmen.

Phil Carman was, on his day, a more electrifying player than Cameron. He could easily boot a swag of goals in the blink of an eye, yet like many sporting superstars he didn’t or couldn’t have it all.

He had a very bad temper and the most storied example of this was an absolute brain-fade during the 1977 second semi final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Hawthorn.

I attended that game as 13 year old kid. The Magpies were resurgent that year and Carmen was a major key. In this game I’ll never forget the images I have of seeing Carmen kick a goal at the old Western stand end and the masssive roar the Pies fan made.  

Collingwood toyed with Hawthorn that day and were going to make the 1977 grand final. Yet inexplicably Carmen belted Michael Tuck and missed the infamous grand final, that many have said the Pies would have won if Carmen was on the field.

Jeremy Cameron will be hoping not to leave potential glory on the field. Photo: Jodie Newell

Cameron is in no way as volatile as Carmen, but what he does share with Phil is losing the opportunity to make a significant impact during finals. 

The five week suspension couldn’t come at a worse time The Giants are in rebuild phase and they have a tough schedule. In the coming weeks they play Hawthorn (Home), West Coast (Away), Richmond (Home), Port Adelaide (Away), St-Kilda (Home). With an undisciplined act, Cameron will miss these vital games. 

I’m rather surprised that coach Leon Cameron initially stated he wanted Jezza to continue to play hard at the ball. That being said, it wouldn’t hurt the club to have Phil Carmen speak to the kid about that it means to miss out. The could haves and should haves are no longer relevant to Carmen. Cameron has plenty of footy left and time to stamp out this unwelcome flaw in his game.

The question is just how bad does Jeremy Cameron wish to be a team player because this is more than just a belt around the head on an opponent, it affects his team-mates and the loyal Greater Western Sydney fan base that has been slowly building on the back of finals success. 

I can tell you after last Saturday’s incident I was receiving several SMS messages from the GWS fan base and they were furious about Cameron’s act and it’s ramifications.

The Giants fans want to see Jeremy Cameron hold the AFL premiership cup and win the Coleman Medal and be remembered for being a champion, not as an angry player who missed many games of football due to a fault that can be corrected.

About the Author

Jodie Newell
Love reporting on sports, politics, history and music