Bombers’ fans remain true
Thursday, 29th August, 2013
By Kurtis J Eichler
Alan Tucker is as passionate an Essendon Bombers’ supporter as they come.
He wears his shirts with honour, hangs his posters proudly and drives his red-and-black number plate-fixed utility vehicle with gusto.
But the Knox Lane Dons supporter is putting on a brave face and sticking to the message that the team he loves has been the target of a witch hunt.
The Bombers have been dumped from this year’s finals despite having earned a top-eight position, fined $2 million, stripped of draft picks for the next two years, and senior coach James Hird has been suspended until 2014 over the alleged use of performance enhancing drugs by the team.
“It’s disappointing but I don’t believe they’ve done anything wrong,” Mr Tucker said, standing in front a shrine dedicated to his favourite team.
“If we were using performance enhancing drugs why weren’t we winning premierships?”
He said the club should keep Hird on as coach given his impressive track record at Windy Hill.
“Up until five weeks ago we were one of the best sides in the competition alongside Hawthorn and Geelong.
“It’s only with the pressure that’s been put on the players since then that they haven’t performed.
“The players have still got confidence in him. I mean, I’ve seen the man play. He’s been five times best and fairest, he’s a Brownlow medallist, so why would you say you don’t want him to come back?”
Mr Tucker - a former BH City Councillor - says the AFL hasn’t handled the saga very well.
“When you look at some of the things the AFL has done over this last year, it’s been very disappointing.
“For the chairman of the AFL, Andrew Demetriou, to tick off overseas is just stupidity when you’ve got such a case going on.”
In Argent Street yesterday, those less aligned with the besieged Bombers said the punishment was just.
“No one really knows what those drugs could do to those kids,” Pam McRae said.
Retired footballer Wayne Walker said it was “about time”.
“They’ve now got something to work with,” Mr Walker said.