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Behind the scenes of footy’s community work

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Like many students, Adrian Asdagi started his University degree with little idea where it would take him.

He began his Bachelor of Business (Sport Management) at La Trobe University in 2011, with hopes it could lead to a career that combined business and sport, two of his biggest passions, but without any real concept of what such a job might entail.

“I had no idea what was out there,” Asdagi says with a laugh.

“We aim to teach them footy skills, as well as social skills, and focus equally on both parts.” – Adrian Asdagi

“I had no connections to sport or anything like that.”

His path to a career in the AFL industry began to take shape when a lecturer at La Trobe suggested he apply for an internship program at Carlton Football Club. After sending in an application and attending a number of interviews, Asdagi was selected, and spent 200 hours working with Carlton as part of the sport practicum component of his course.

A year on, Asdagi is managing the program he went through last year.

“About three weeks before my last exam I was offered the job that I’m currently in now,” he explains.

After impressing during his time at Carlton, he has become the Club’s Diversity and Community Coordinator.

“It all happened pretty quickly – after my internship finished I pretty much went straight into a job.”

So what exactly does a Diversity and Community Coordinator do?

“I look after all player visits – primary school, secondary school, country visits and that sort of stuff,” Asdagi explains.

“We run the multicultural school program, which is aimed at diverse communities such as migrant families. We aim to teach them footy skills, as well as social skills, and focus equally on both parts.

“Part of that is our High Rise Program, which is probably my favourite part. It’s something that has come about in the last three years or so with the Carlton Primary School, which is situated next to the Carlton High Rise Buildings.”

As well as managing community programs, Asdagi is also invested personally.

“I’ve just enrolled myself into a mentorship program with one of the primary school students who I’ve been paired up with,” he says.

Asdagi’s role is one most footy supporters know little about, but one which is behind much of the great work clubs do for the community.

His story is proof that job opportunities in the footy community are there, even if they’re not at the forefront of most people’s minds.

“I obviously wouldn’t be at Carlton if it weren’t for La Trobe,” Asdagi says.

“I didn’t have any connections, so I was very fortunate.”