The 60 TAC Cup and Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL players that joined AFL lists for the first time last year attended the AFLPA/AFL Induction Camp at Marvel Stadium this week.
All players selected in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft and Rookie Draft – along with certain concession selections – took part in sessions conducted by the AFL Players Association and AFL on Monday and Tuesday. In the sessions, they learnt about the support and programs available to them during their careers as well as respectful relationships, gambling awareness and the anti-doping code.
AFL Victoria’s talent competitions produced 48 AFL Draft selections last year (representing 62 per cent of the 78 total picks) – 42 from the TAC Cup and six from the VFL.
Former Geelong Falcons midfielder and Carlton’s no.1 AFL Draft pick Sam Walsh said the 2018 draftees had been well informed by the camp’s sessions.
“Being able to meet the AFLPA staff and chat through the programs and services available to us gave everyone a better understanding of what we can access,” Walsh said.
“Hearing (ex-St Kilda and Murray Bushrangers forward) Justin Koschitzke, (ex-St Kilda and Northern Knights midfielder) Leigh Montagna and (ex-Collingwood and Oakleigh Chargers key-position player) Sam McLarty talk about their different experiences in the system and how they used the AFLPA to help them along the way was fascinating.”
McLarty, a recent signing by Williamstown having been delisted after two years with the Magpies, told the draftees about some of the highs and lows he experienced in his short AFL career.
AFLPA General Manager of Player Development Ben Smith said the camp was focused on ensuring that players know how the AFLPA can help them maximise whatever time they have in the AFL system.
“The average career of an AFL player is six years, so it’s important they understand how to access the services and programs we (AFLPA) offer to ensure they’re developing something meaningful away from football,” Smith said.