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AFL Players launch 2014 Season

The AFL Players’ Association recently celebrated the return of footy with a bang at its annual Season Launch.

The event was held at The Emerson Rooftop in South Yarra and brought together players, members of the media, commercial partners of the ‘PA and key industry stakeholders, days out from the start of the AFL season.

Indigenous Advisory Board Chairman and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes was one of many players in attendance, and helped launch the Players’ Association’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), while Wurundjeri elder Joy Murphy Wandin performed a Welcome to Country. Goodes said the launch of the RAP was a defining moment in the Association’s history.

“I’d like to thank the ‘PA and those who were part of creating the RAP,” Goodes said.

“For those guys to sit down and look at us as an organisation and say how can we get the message out there about reconciliation in our work place, is a big part of reconciliation for me.”

Goodes was joined by singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd, who sung about some of the issues Indigenous people face in day to day life and discussed the value of reconciliation to all Australians.

A few hours earlier the Players’ Association Board held its Annual General Meeting, in which Patrick Dangerfield, Will Minson and Jimmy Bartel were voted in as ‘PA Board members. All three players had worked with the Players’ Association as club delegates last season, but will join the 11-man board this season, replacing Bob Murphy, Jason Blake and Adam Selwood.

Dangerfield said being voted in by the Board was an enormous honour.

“There are some brilliant people on the Board, as well as some champions of the game, so it’s certainly something I don’t take lightly,” Dangerfield said.

Minson agreed, saying, “It’s something I’m very proud to say I’m a part of.”

Meanwhile, Matthew Stokes, Brett Goodes and Chad Wingard were appointed to the Indigenous Advisory Board, replacing Nathan Lovett-Murray, Graham Johncock and Aaron Davey – who retired at season’s end last year.

Players’ Association President Luke Ball addressed the crowd to speak about the year ahead, while Board member Daniel Jackson was the MC for the evening. As part of his duties with the microphone, Jackson spent part of the night on the lookout for players suffering from the five signs of fatigue – a skill he’s perfected throughout his 10-year career as a run-with player – and offered them a product or two from the L’Oreal Hydra Energetic range.

L’Oreal Men Expert – the official skincare of AFL Players – provided a range of anti-fatigue products for the event; each guest received a gift-bag featuring some Hydra Energetic products on their way out.