‘My Career Was A Bit Of A Waste’: Adam Cooney ‘Embarrassed’ By His Brownlow Win

Former Western Bulldogs and Essendon player Adam Cooney said he often felt 'embarrassed' by winning the most prestigious award for an AFL player.

In 2008 Adam Cooney was awarded the Brownlow Medal, making him the tenth Western Bulldogs player to win the honour given each year to the best and fairest player in the AFL.

But on Sunday night, Adam admitted that he often feels embarrassed by what many would call their career highlight.

"I sort of think my career was a bit of a waste, to be honest with you," Adam told Woody Whitelaw and Peter Helliar.

"I had one really good year where I won the Brownlow, like, I played well in 2009, I played pretty well in 2020 as well but the early days I was unprofessional, and then when I was younger I was okay but inconsistent," he reflected. "Then I had that one year where I was really good, but then I got injured and the expectation was there for me to go on and be a great player and I just never got anywhere near it.

"I just feel like it was -- not a waste because I played 250 games," he continued adding he felt "embarrassed" he won the Brownlow.

Stunning his campmates with his blunt honesty, Adam also said it's common for people to tell him that they didn't think he should have won it either. "All I hear is that, 'Oh geez you were lucky... Richo [Matthew Richardson] should have won it'... that's all I hear."

"There are a thousand footballers playing every single year and he was the best one for a year," Woody said after the chat. "To have people make nasty comments about that and take away from the sheen of that for him is devastating."

Adam's win in 2008 was a shock at the time, with Richo the favourite in the room to take home the prize. But polling 24 votes, Adam beat Simon Black by one vote, with Gary Ablett and Richo finishing equal third on 22.

"That's sort of the reality," Adam continued. "I wasn't [the] favourite, I had a good year. I was [the] favourite after about round 15 but then I sort of dropped away a little bit.

"I think people forget and they're just like, how the f**k did you win a Brownlow? And I get it all the time."

While Adam opened up to his fellow campmates about his career, Woody wondered if he had been put in the jungle for a different reason.

"Maybe it's my mission for the rest of this camp experience to try and convince him that he is deserving of that Brownlow and that he really shouldn't be embarrassed of that," the radio host said, adding, "I think it would mean a lot to him to get to that place."

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