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A day in the life — Emma King

North Melbourne’s Emma King isn’t your ordinary footballer. The All-Australian ruckwoman balances her footballing responsibilities with a full-time job as a draftsperson for Metricon. She details her incredible life outside of the AFLW in an exclusive column.

Although I work your typical 8:30am-5pm life, my commitments extend well beyond when I leave my job at Metricon and head to my AFLW training.

I wake up at 7am and normally arrive to work by 8am, where I will eat my breakfast – normally something menial.

I work as a draftsperson, which involves high-volume contract building. I receive a base house plan and make adjustments using our automatic computer-aided design program (AutoCAD) to make changes based on customer preferences and developer requirements. My work is then submitted to the next part of the production line and I start the process again.

A day in the life of — Katherine Smith

I normally finish work at 5pm and head straight to the club for training.

When I was at Collingwood our training would start at 6pm and we would begin with a team meeting but at North Melbourne we’ll be out on the track at 6pm.

Working full-time made things at times bit stressful as I would be pushing to get to the club for a 6pm start. My immediate work team was amazing during this time though, and they would always let me leave a little early because I would start a bit earlier. Beating the traffic was crucial and that 15 minutes made a huge difference between getting to training on time or being late.

I actually enjoyed having the meetings first because it allowed me to do something as simple as puts my boots on and stretch before I started the physical element to training. The club was always good in that sense because I would sneak in, be in a bit of a rabble and have my physio check whereas others had been there from 5pm and were all ready to go.

A day in the life of — Courtney Gum

It’s definitely a stressful time trying to balance training and work, but having that workload – gym and field sessions – being balanced and managed within our club hours was really important because it allowed me to have a couple of nights off a week.

I live about half an hour from the club so I would get home around 10pm which meant I would quickly eat dinner and go to bed. I effectively have to meal prep on weekends so that I don’t have to stay up too late on my nights off. I don’t like getting up early in the mornings so I definitely try and avoid prepping for lunch and dinner when I wake up.

Leading into AFL season 3.0, I realise how challenging the season will be and that it is important both physically and mentally to find that balance with work, training, and relaxation.