Travis Cloke – Australian Rules Football Player
Travis Cloke was born on the 5th of March 1987 and is currently regarded as on one of the best key forwards to be playing in the AFL. He has been blessed with tremendous strength and endurance and has shown the hard work required to turn his early promise into a stellar AFL career.
Cloke comes from a family of AFL players, with his father David Cloke playing 333 matches for Richmond and then later Collingwood. Travis’s two older brothers, Jason and Cameron too would play in the AFL.
Travis was drafted by Collingwood in the 2004 draft under the father-son rule and was their third pick of the draft. He had played for the Eastern Rangers I the TAC U-18 competition and had gone on to represent the Vic Metro team at the National Championships.
He got an early call up to play for the senior team due to injury to Anthony Rocca and Travis did not disappoint. He managed an encouraging 16 disposals and one goal in his debut match against Essendon to announce that he could his own in the senior league.
The following performances that year were a little up and down from him as he helped the team win three games in a row, bringing a little cheer amidst a horror season, and receiving the AFL rising star nomination as well.
His performances were noted by his club who bestowed the Harry Collier Trophy as Best First Year Player on him.
This was another stop start year for Travis as he failed to immediately deliver on the promise of his debut year performances. He would average only 11 disposals a game as he was tried as a centre half back. He was dropped from the side although he would return late in the season with a rousing performance against Hawthorne. That performance of 22 disposals and two goals gave everyone hope for the future, that there was still a lot to come from this promising youngster.
This was the year the Cloke started coming into his own. He had secured a starting position and his preferred position of centre half forward. After a steady start to the season, he captured everyone’s attention with his performance on ANZAC day. He managed 24 disposals, 4 assists, and 10 inside 50’s as well as a 1.3 in front of goal.
He began to show a penchant for scoring goals and managed to score four goals twice and three goals on five occasions that season. He put up a memorable show in the preliminary finals against eventual winners Geelong with 13 marks and 15 disposals.
His season total of goals also ended at 39 that year.
He received the Bob Rose trophy for the best players of the finals in recognition of his performance.
This was a consistent though low key year for Cloke. He managed to kick 40 goals across the season, including five in a game twice. His performances suffered as the team was held back due to injuries mid-year and it fell upon Cloke to handle the extra responsibilities. A notable uptick in his performance was seen with the inclusion of Dawes later in the season.
Cloke would finish sixth in the Copeland trophy voting.
An incident of assault while on holiday meant that Cloke was not able to prepare for the season as he wanted. He however, did not let that stop him as he bounced back with a solid season.
The high point of the season was when he kicked four goals and had 19 disposals in one game against the Bombers. The season would also see him winning a career best 38 hit outs. The change in his playing style meant that he scored lesser goals than in previous season ending the season with 22.26 and only one goal in the final three games.
This would the best season that Cloke had since the highs of 2007. He managed to fill the gap left by Anthony Rocca’s retirement and produced many memorable moments to remember throughout the season.
A particularly bruising performance against Essendon in round 20 where he had 16 disposals and 22 marks by the end of it was a season highlight. He went without kicking a goal only on four occasions throughout the season.
He gained notoriety as an inconstant player as he missed a few gettable goals in the grand final, however ended the season by scoring a clutch goal in the dying minutes against Geelong and helping Collingwood to their first premiership victory in 20 years.
The confidence of being a leader in the side had helped his game tremendously and he showed that with another wonderful season.
He took the competition by storm kicking career high 69 goals in the season. He would score goals in 23 of the 25 games he played the season, cementing his place as one the elite players in the game. His fantastic run across the season had four matches in which he kicked five or more goals.
He made it to the All Australian team as the centre half forward. He also became the 12th most prolific goal scorer in the finals for Collingwood that season.
This season was spent for much of the time in the public eye as his contract negotiations played out played out in a protracted manner. He would eventually sign a lucrative five year contract extension in the Grand Finals week.
His season would end with 59 goals and 73 contested marks (the most for any player across the league) and would finish 9th in the Copeland trophy.
One of his most consistent and fruitful season so far, as he showed that he was still very much a force to reckon with. He put behind the distractions of the contract negotiations of last year and the focus showed in his performances. He would end up scoring in all but two of the games and would lead the competition in contested marks (58). He also had 10 or more marks in eight games that season.
The highlight of his strong season was his performance against the Tigers in round four when he kicked seven goals, took a season-high 14 marks, sent the ball inside 50 eight times and registered 20 possessions
His remarkable form was recognized in his second selection to the All Australian team of the year.
Awards And Achievements
- Collingwood Premiership Side
- Collingwood Pre-Season Premiership Side
- All Australian
- AFL Rising Star Nomination 2005
Round 10 v Hawthorn
- Copeland Trophy (Best and Fairest)
- J.J. Joyce Trophy (3rd Best and Fairest)
- Bob Rose Award (Best Finals Player)
- Gordon Coventry Trophy (Leading Goal Kicker)