Shark’s trust mantra out the window

ANYONE who knows Michael Ennis understands he is different to the run-of-the-mill footballer. And the Sharks hooker, now at his fifth NRL club, is not averse to creating a headline or two.

On and off the field Ennis is an extrovert, and one of the most polarising players in the NRL. Teammates love his super-competitive nature, and enjoy his niggling antics. Those in opposing camps loathe the bloke.

But as a regular panellist on the Ben Ikin-hosted NRL 360 on Fox, Ennis displays a totally different personality.

He is honest and open, does not blow his own trumpet and - not unexpectedly - has a good handle on the intricacies of the game he plays.

Yet, sometimes, like this past week, he can be too candid. His 'absolute trust' comment for club support staff in relation to his supplement intake is rather bemusing from someone so experienced and intelligent.

For those who may have missed the comments, Ennis told Sky Sports radio he would continue to trust support staff - 'no questions asked' - as he had always done during his 13 seasons in the NRL.

"To this day, when I go to training I put my trust in the people the club employ to try to get each player to perform at their best," he told listeners.

That is a bold statement, and one even Ennis concedes could be construed as naivety. And many - possibly most - would suggest he is in fact an extremely gullible 31-year-old.

In light on the sentences handed down to Essendon AFL players in respect of that club's supplements regime, Ennis is one very trusting player.

The World Anti-Doping Authority made a point of stressing that the fact the Essendon players did not inquire as to what they were taking had contributed to their season-long bans. And, as it should, that ruling throws the Ennis 'I trust them' mantra right out the window.

Like many aspects of our modern society, what was acceptable a decade ago is no longer okay. Irrespective of whom they trust, when it comes to what goes into the body, athletes are unconditionally responsible.

Ennis should also not forget that the other sporting club embroiled in a similar supplements scandal was the Sharks.

While we can empathise with Mick Ennis about trusting those employed by his club in key player-support roles, he cannot be serious when he says he will take whatever he is given, 'no questions asked'. That, as many of his current Sharks teammates and a host of Bombers players have now discovered, is simply dancing with the devil.

There is a simple answer. Take no supplements, and rely on hard work, skill enhancement and God-given ability.

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