Former St Kilda captain Danny Frawley has lifted the lid on the man turning the fortunes of the Saints in recent times.
AFL.com.au’s Mitch Cleary reported on Thursday that the embattled club had hired tackling expert John Donehue, a former bodyguard of South African president Nelson Mandela, to address their woeful performance in the pressure stakes leading up to their Round 13 clash with Gold Coast.
The response has been immediate, with the Saints rising from 17th in the competition for pressure in their 10 game losing streak earlier this year to eighth in their past two matches against the Suns and Melbourne, winning both games.
LISTEN to Saturday’s Port Adelaide v St Kilda clash LIVE on 1116 SEN from 4:30pm AEDT with Brett Phillips and Scotty Cummings
“Alan Richardson got him down there, I think the Wednesday from memory before the Gold Coast game, and it’s had a bit of an impact,” Frawley told SEN Breakfast.
Donehue’s involvement with AFL clubs is nothing new, as he has worked with North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Hawthorn, Geelong, Carlton, Richmond and Essendon before the new arrangement with the Saints.
Frawley has revealed it’s not the first time Donehue and he have crossed paths.
“John was at the Tigers for three of my five years as coach, and he’s one of the greatest exponents of not only the physical side of tackling, but the mental side of the contest,” he said.
“John was a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, and I think he only got beaten once or twice in his career. And he still hasn’t gotten over the losses.
“What he is, is the ultimate warrior and the ultimate competitor, and he doesn’t take a backward step with the players.”
Frawley also expressed his sorrow at the long-term injury of Saints forward Josh Bruce, who broke his leg in an incident at training during the week.
“It was just one of those freak accidents that happen on the training track,” he said.
Want to win the ultimate AFL Grand Final VIP experience thanks to Choices Flooring?
Pick the total combined possessions for Round 16 – Ed Curnow (CAR), Tim Membrey (STK), Liam Shiels (HAW), Todd Goldstein (NM) & Brodie Grundy (COL). Eg.: 118
Originally published on SEN.com.au