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2014 no gap year for Browne

As part of the AFL Players’ partnership with La Trobe, students and academics will be sharing expertise and experiences ahead of The Age’s VCE and Career Expo this Saturday. caught up with injured Bomber, and La Trobe student, Alex Browne earlier this week.

Having ruptured his ACL in February, Essendon’s Alex Browne could be forgiven for treating 2014 as a year to forget. But rather than dwelling on his injury, the 21-year-old Bomber is turning a negative situation into a positive one.

Browne is studying a Bachelor of Business and Sport Management at La Trobe University, and says having some extra time to focus on his studies has been a silver lining in what has been a frustrating year.

“La Trobe has a really good course,” Browne says.

“The Uni has been really flexible in accommodating my footy career and the challenges of studying whilst playing” – Alex Browne

“Studying Business and Sport Management covers a lot of different areas and because I’m not yet sure what I want to do after footy, the course is nice and broad and will hopefully open a few doors.”

Browne started his studies in 2013 and has completed subjects in Sports Marketing and Management as well as Business Foundations.

“I’m really passionate about sport, obviously, but also business,” he says.

“This course allows me to study things that really interesting to me.”

With the support of his Club, which encourages all players to use their time out of footy to study or gather valuable work experience for their post AFL careers, Browne spends his weekly day off studying and says it’s a great escape from the rigors of AFL.

“It takes my mind off it. And, given I’ve done my knee and am out injured at the moment, it’s given me a bit more time to crack into my studies this year and turn what’s been a negative experience into a positive one.

“Juggling study with a footy career means that I don’t get to spend much time on campus – I have to be in and out pretty quickly – but it is a great set up, with a great library and the quad has everything a student could need.”

Browne also says the services that the University offers its Elite Athletes are also exceptional.

“La Trobe have an Elite Sports Manager, whose assistance to accommodate my needs as an athlete is really appreciated. The Uni has been really flexible in accommodating my footy career and the challenges of studying whilst playing and really helpful when I’ve needed advice or assistance sorting things out.”