Podcasting about MFC since 2017

Tom McDonald’s redemption story warming Dees hearts

The DeeBrief

The DeeBrief

Tom McDonald down back has been a revelation so far in the early stages of 2024, as Kieran Marsh gives him his due praise.

As footy fans we love a redemption story. 

There is something about a player being tested, questioned, or even falling only to rise again that we inherently connect with because that struggle is, at its core, human. 

And that is what we love, feeling a genuine connection with the human behind the player.

We all experience it, not necessarily in the footy context but in our day to day lives and because of this lived experience it’s something we can’t help but be invested in as fans. 

There’s a few redemption narratives getting around the Dees in the early stages of season 2024. 

Marty Hore’s is tough to beat. It’s equaling as warming to see big Benny Brown back delivering and, of course, there’s no bigger redemption arc than Clarry’s….shit it has looked impressive through the first month. 

But my favourite so far, quite comfortably, has been Tom McDonald. 

The transition back to defence has been a revelation for a player whose even most ardent supporter, myself included, thought the game had passed by.

I acknowledge ‘T Mac’, as he’s affectionately known to the faithful, divides opinion, but he has provided us with some outstanding memories.

I’ll never forget being at Subiaco Oval when he popped that bicycle kick over his head to bury the Eagles with seconds to spare..it’s one of my favourite moments I’ve witnessed live as a Dees supporter.  

He was incredible through the first half of the 2021 season, a key part of laying the foundation for our ultimate success. And that such a long serving servant had the opportunity to kick the final goal on that fateful Grand Final evening was, at least in my mind, poetic. 

He has busted his arse for this club for almost 15 years. He was running his guts out both ways when we were getting done by 12 goals (I’m being lenient, there were bigger drubbings as we all know) in front of 20 odd thousand at the MCG, week in and week out. 

We were shit. So shit. 

Not only did he stay, he also wasn’t punted when plenty others were in the transformational years, which should tell you all you need to know about his value, and I hate to use a cliché, ‘within the four walls’.

To see him back and contributing is made even more remarkable by the incredible personal challenges he and his family faced in the off season. 

It’s not necessary to go into detail, other than to say it’s not something you’d wish on your worst enemy, let alone a member of your beloved club.

That T Mac returned to the training track to continue pre-season not only speaks volumes of his character and his courage, but is as clear an indication of how much this group and club means to him.

We all love this club, we get so invested in the week to week once the season kicks off and when someone doesn’t stick a tackle, doesn’t run hard enough or takes a poor option on forward 50 entry….we rage. 

Kept Charlie Dixon to just the one goal

We call for their head. Send them to Casey. Maybe they’re done for good. 

‘Pile’, as the boys on The DeeBrief podcast would say.

I guess it’s our prerogative as supporters. It’s natural and it’s human.

But so is redeeming oneself when afforded some faith and an opportunity. 

I have no idea what sort of a season Tommy is going to have from here on, but these last four games have shown without question; a player that still belongs at this level.

Better still, one who can make a meaningful contribution.

He has taken his opportunity and he deserves our faith.