As first year players from across the AFL met at Etihad Stadium for the AFLPA Induction Camp, Fremantle draftee Darcy Tucker knew what he and fellow teammates were there for.
The focus of the two-day camp was to educate and inform first-time draftees on the issues that face professional football players as they embark on their careers, and how to make the most of their time in the AFL.
“We now have an idea of what it takes to save your career in football,” Tucker said.
“We’ve had a lot of workshops, presentations and guest speakers to give us the advice we need to make the most of our opportunity.”
Mixed Martial Artist and cancer survivor Nadine Champion was one of the guest speakers whose words resonated with Tucker and his fellow Fremantle draftees.
“She beat cancer, and is a very strong woman who’s very dedicated with her sport.” he said.
“She spoke about determination and the mindset to work as hard as you can.
“It really hit home with me and all the boys here.”
Salt, sand and sweat
Tucker was informed on the topic of wealth management and illicit drug use, both of which he adamantly stressed the importance of.
“It’s the first time I’ve had a presentation on how to manage your finances and what you’re exposed to as an AFL player,” he said.
“Some of the things we’ve heard before but it’s important to hear it again to make sure you do everything right and stay out of trouble.”
It wasn’t all business for the draftees, with the opportunity to catch up with old mates proving too good to pass up.
“I caught up with (Jacob) Hopper and (Daniel) Rioli and some of the Vic Country boys,” Tucker said.
“Just seeing how they’re going with training and fitness, living arrangements; we touched on everything.”
Tucker said that while it was nice seeing old teammates again, he was quickly reminded of the realities of AFL football.
“Seeing all the other draftees in their team polo makes everything pretty real.
“The career is starting, it’s finally here and it’s time to get to work.”
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