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  1. #1
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    Travis Cloke reveals the VFL sledge which almost ended his career

    SACKED podcast preview: Travis Cloke reveals the VFL sledge which almost ended his career
    Travis Cloke has revealed he almost quit AFL midway through his only season at Whitten Oval after he was repeatedly sedged by an opponent during a VFL game about his mental health.
    Jon Ralph and Glenn McFarlane, Herald Sun
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    May 28, 2020 6:09pm

    Travis Cloke has revealed he almost quit the Western Bulldogs halfway through 2017 after a St Kilda-listed player sledged him about his mental health during a VFL game.
    Cloke had stepped away from football with anxiety issues only weeks before in his single year with the Bulldogs.
    The club publicly acknowledged he was battling with his mental health.
    Yet in that first game for Footscray’s VFL side, an AFL player taking the field for St Kilda’s VFL affiliate Sandringham cut him to the bone with repeated insults about his mental health.

    LISTEN TO TRAVIS CLOKE’S SACKED EPISODE FROM FRIDAY!


    Travis Cloke says repeated sledging about his mental health almost caused him to quit football midway through 2017.
    He told the Herald Sun’s Sacked podcast he almost punched the player, but was so demoralised he later considered immediately walking away from football.
    Cloke declined to reveal the identity of the player, no longer at the Saints, but says he could not believe in today’s environment the player could be so callous.
    “I was playing in the VFL for the Dogs. I think it was my first game back from having a bit of a lay-off,” he said.
    “I was down at Sandringham playing down there. One of the players turned around with a remark or a sledge.
    “I haven't repeated it and I didn’t even make an official complaint even though I thought it was disgusting.
    “He was a young player and I didn't want him to be tarred by this reputation and sledge for the rest of his career.
    “But definitely it resonated with me to the point where I almost walked off the field.”




    Travis Cloke enjoyed a successful career as a Magpie.


    Travis Cloke launches for goal during his brief stint as a Bulldog.

    Cloke said he alerted the umpires straight away and later told the coaches.
    “Things were done, but not enough in my eyes,” he said.
    “I am still waiting for a call to apologise, that’s how disgusting it was.
    “I guess that was more the moment where I was thinking, ‘This is bullshit, what I am putting myself through the stress of this game of football for when some 20-year-old kid can turn around and say what he said’.”
    Cloke said the sledges were deliberate and sustained, not a single throwaway line.
    “Yeah definitely. When remarks come out about mental health that are repeated a couple of times, the first time something is said is water off a duck’s back,” he said.
    “That’s all right, it’s a competitive game, but the second and third time, enough is enough, and it almost pushed me over the line. I almost stopped the game, went over and grabbed him. “That was the point where I was at. I was pretty lucky the halftime siren went and I obviously removed myself from the situation in the rooms.
    “The umpire came up to me because I told him to do something about it or I will do it myself as the second half starts.


    Travis Cloke takes possession for Footscray during a VFL match.

    “I wasn’t afraid to get suspended at the back end of my career, a weekend off is not a bad thing. It definitely crossed my mind after that game. Do I even want to play again?
    “Do I want to step back out on the field and put myself back in that situation or if someone does do it again what am I going to do, am I going to snap?
    “And that’s not normally in my character. Yes, in my career I got reported a couple of times for silly incidents but nothing that was over the top or brutal but this would have pushed me to that stage.”
    Cloke said the Saints player was not held accountable.
    “I didn’t want him to be suspended, I didn’t want him to miss games of footy, but education is so important and that didn’t happen,” he said.
    “An official from the football club did reach out purely because I had a relationship with them, but it wasn’t enough for me.
    “I wouldn’t say the dogs brushed it under the carpet, they did all that they could to help me and support me which is great, but I guess that club with the player involved didn’t do enough in my eyes.”

  2. #2
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    Re: Travis Cloke reveals the VFL sledge which almost ended his career

    Saw that the article was also posted in the thread about Cloke taking time off. Mods can delete this if they feel it necessary.

  3. #3
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    Re: Travis Cloke reveals the VFL sledge which almost ended his career

    Listened to the podcast on sacked
    He comes across as really like able person , does Travis
    Massive wrap on the leadership of Murphy , Boyd and Morris .
    Didn’t take any money on his second year and basically lost his love for the contest after the Ziebel cheap shot

  4. #4
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    Re: Travis Cloke reveals the VFL sledge which almost ended his career

    Not happy with stkilda’s pathetic non action on the player

  5. #5
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    Re: Travis Cloke reveals the VFL sledge which almost ended his career

    Quote Originally Posted by Remi Moses View Post
    Listened to the podcast on sacked
    He comes across as really like able person , does Travis
    Massive wrap on the leadership of Murphy , Boyd and Morris .
    Didn’t take any money on his second year and basically lost his love for the contest after the Ziebel cheap shot
    There's a few on-field incidents over the journey that really burn my potatoes and despite the fact Cloke was one of us for such a brief stint that Ziebell hit on him remains right up there.

    I can't see the bastard now without vividly and furiously recalling it.

    I am #triggered.

    He's bang on about that leadership trio too and yet more testimony towards the size of the hole it created when they left.
    BORDERLINE FLYING

  6. #6
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    Re: Travis Cloke reveals the VFL sledge which almost ended his career

    I'm with you on that RS. It was a coward's effort from Ziebell that was practically endorsed by the MRP. Cheap shots from behind should never, ever be a thing in AFL and in that case the MRP failed Travis Cloke badly.

    The fact that Ziebell or whatever his stupid name is is still running around (and is even North's captain I think?) and Cloke played virtually no more senior footy burns me deeply. And it would have even if he was still in Collingwood's colors at the time.
    Bright eyed and bushy tailed at least for another hour

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  8. #7
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    Re: Travis Cloke reveals the VFL sledge which almost ended his career

    The hit was front to side on, when Cloke was entirely vulnerable just after the ball made contact with his boot while kicking. A ball player would have attempted the smother to try and win a turnover but tough guy Ziebell ain't no ball player.

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  10. #8
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    Re: Travis Cloke reveals the VFL sledge which almost ended his career

    I felt sickened watching it from the stands. I thought Ziebell would get 4 or more weeks out. They are the kind of hits that trigger Mothers to decide “Ok - lets play another sport now kids”.

    Had a soft spot for Cloke and think without that hit he could have really contributed a lot to the team. Good on him for speaking out and glad to hear our club provided the right support at the time.

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