Former Carlton player Brad Fisher has joined the AFL Players’ Association in the role of Manager – Alumni Program.
Fisher was recruited from East Burwood and played 99 AFL games for Carlton over eight seasons; he kicked 126 goals and earned an AFL Rising Star nomination in 2003.
For the past two years he has been working for the West Adelaide Football Club in player development while also playing in the SANFL.
Fisher takes over the role from Steve Alessio who is now the football operations manager at the Essendon Football Club.
The AFL Players’ Alumni program is designed to provide a range of support services to assist AFL players in making a successful transition into the next phase of their lives and beyond. Services available to alumni fall under four pillars; health and wellbeing, financial prosperity, continuing education and fellowship.
Fisher aims to strengthen the AFL Players’ Alumni Program by engaging as many past players as possible, with a focus on recognising the contribution they make to the game to maintain a feeling of significance.
“When you come out of the game you definitely lose that feeling of being a part of something special. We want the AFL Players’ Alumni Program to be able to fill that void and provide a sense of belonging to our past players,” Fisher said.
“Being a part of the network, whether you’ve played one game or 300, should be something people speak about with pride.”
Having left the game at the end of 2010, Fisher believes he is in a strong position to engage and understand those players who have also recently been delisted or retired.
“I know exactly what they are going through and what they will go through in the future. This gives me the ability to show understanding and compassion,” he said.
“I will also look to call upon other players and groups who have been out of the game longer than me to get an understanding about what they require from the alumni services.”
Fisher admits to “mixed emotions” when he was delisted by Carlton; panic and relief were at the forefront of his mind. He didn’t feel like he was in a position to utilise the alumni resources at that point in time but he said the best thing about the AFL Players’ Alumni Program is that it is available to players for life.
“Footy is the one thing I knew and trusted my whole life and to have that taken away from me was tough and you do feel a bit lost. When I first met with the Players’ Association I didn’t really have clarity and it was hard to digest everything,” Fisher said.
“At the follow up meetings things became a lot clearer and you can start to develop a plan. Once you become a member the services are there for life, so initially you might not be in the right mindset but keep in touch and keep the communication lines open.”
Fisher started at the Players’ Association last Thursday but it is a return of sorts as he was a club delegate in four of his eight years at Carlton.
On the field Fisher is playing country football for Dalyston in the Alberton Football League where he has reunited with friends from junior football.