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  1. Hi Grant

    Spot on with the article. I started to smile to myself about word 10!!… but good luck getting an industry ear!

    I have (and still do) worked in numerous executive/sales/senior management roles for various national and international companies. In that time I have assisted in (I hope!) raising a now adult family of 4 kids, I have been involved in coaching 16 to 25 year old young men in aussie rules at a reasonably high suburban level. And in this time I have been amazed at the blatant lack of care in personal growth an AFL club affords to its “employees”. I have had numerous kids come through our junior programs, head into the TAC competition (now TAC comp is worth a totally separate subject to discuss), to watch a few get drafted to AFL with a sparkle in their eyes only to see them return jaded and disappointed.

    I am amazed that the only people that are seen as good enough to “develop” these young men are insiders that have “played the game”. How often are real life people with multitudes of life skill sets even given the opportunity to sit down in an interview situation to table what real business development managers can do to motivate and stimulate.

    I have applied dozens of times to jobs at “club land” but to no avail. I do get a nice letter… not this time! Why would they not at least take that risk to see what this guy could do to show us what it is really like out there. Teach players what really happens. We don’t all have managers to pay our phone bills, water rates, car rego, budget for a holiday, squeeze in some social stuff while doing un paid hours to advance the career and on top of this do around 20+ hours of unpaid community work running a footy club for young blokes that want a kick.

    The AFL clubs simply do not care. As you said, meeting upon meeting until the flair, talent and youthful enthusiasm has been suppressed in the name of “defensive acts” and other American-isms that the so called development coaches can inject into them. All this money stuffed in their pockets, but all this non personal time seems to be very production line. In one door and very quietly out the back door 4.6 years later.

    When asked the question by Andy Maher on 20/05 on SEN (Andy referred to your article), current StKilda senior coach Alan Richardson fumbled and farted his way to answer… “I think they have some fun”. Hardly a convincing statement from that organizations senior manager.

    Anyway good luck with the article. I did enjoy reading of someone with a similar frustration and viewpoint . I look forward to reading more


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