COLOURFUL football character Mark "Jacko" Jackson says he has taken controversial figure Steve Dank on tour to the people who will understand best - grassroots punters.
Dank is set to address a luncheon at Bunch of Grapes Hotel on Friday.
"(AFL) media, I wouldn't say have a good grasp on football and football stories," Jackson said.
"Football people are ready to hear his story now, coming from the horse's mouth.
"Steve is a very intellectual doctor, not a pig farmer like some headlines had him."
Dual Carlton premiership player Peter Bosustow, emceeing the event, said the more he travelled with Dank on the speaking tour, the more he was impressed at how Dank opened up to 'punters' in the audience in a question-and-answer format.
Bosustow said those in the audience could make up their own mind on the Essendon saga and Dank's role, as he tells it, in the controversy.
Dank is accused of leading the player supplements program at AFL club Essendon.
The saga lead to the departure from the Bombers of head coach James Hird, CEO Ian Robson, chairman David Evans and high performance manager Dean Robinson.
Despite the allegations, Dank is yet to face the Australian Sports Anti-Drug Authority, which has led an inquiry onto the Essendon supplements program.
Dank will not speak to media in Ballarat.