Fans Players

‘Chief’ Keath stops by for a chat

Western Bulldogs defender, and former Adelaide player, Alex Keath joined the AFL Players’ Association’s Instagram account for a live chat, including a question and answer section with fans. Here’s a breakdown of the best parts of the chat with AFLPA regional manager Bobby Quiney. 

Keath on his cricket career with the Victorian Bushrangers and Melbourne Stars

The playing side of things was difficult and frustrating at times but there were some awesome coaches and players that I was around. I was a young kid who was trying to improve every day and work really hard and I think sometimes working a little bit too hard and taking things a little bit too seriously. They’re some of the experiences I had along my professional career and I something that I’ve learned along the way is that it’s not always a linear trajectory. There’s lots of ups and downs.

Making the transition from cricket to footy

I finished up my career at Victoria and the following winter I went over to England to have a season. I was probably beating my head up against the wall wanting to persist with cricket and possibly move states and wanted to get back in to the professional system. It’s a great experience to play League cricket over in England but when I was over there I started to get more and more into the footy training and seeing it more and more as a possibility when I came back the next summer.

Joining the Crows as a Category ‘B’ Rookie 

The Crows at the time were awesome and the category B rookie rule, I was very fortunate that that was in place so it meant that a club if they wanted to get me on the list is that they didn’t need to use a draft pick. That rule was really crucial to getting an opportunity. The Crows were happy enough for me to play some cricket in Adelaide that summer and have a crack at some training while I was playing. In reality, they wanted to have a look at me before committing but I’m certainly grateful for their pathways. Rocking up early on they basically treated me like I had an injury so I was more or less with the rehab group and because they wanted to integrate me back in the system that was the path I went down. I don’t think they wanted me to ruin any of their drills early on so training alongside AFL players they were pretty keen for me to do my skills on the sidelines.

The decision to join the Western Bulldogs and ask for a trade from the Crows

It was just a great opportunity for myself and for family later in life. From a footy perspective, a bit more responsibility comes with the move and speaking to Luke Beveridge and Sam Power at the Bulldogs they saw me fitting in well and I’m enjoying my time so far and it’s good to be back in Melbourne with family close by so that’s always a plus.

The day he proposed to his Fiancée Laura

I was down at the beach for a beach walk with the dog and she (Laura) wasn’t really expecting it. I thought it would be pretty quiet at the beach, but it was a Sunday morning and it was like Bourke Street there at one stage. I thought I might bottle it for a while, but we picked up the pace (on the walk) and got some space and dropped the knee and luckily enough she said Yes. We got back to the car and  Ihad a bottle of champagne in the spare wheel tyre compartment in the boot and had a glass with her.

Filling in for Dookie United Football Club as a kid and snagging eight goals

One of my best mates (former Hawthorn player) Luke Lowden, we went to school together and he invited me to play a game for the Dookie fourths and I was playing baseball at the time so I was wearing baseball cleats and I was playing under someone else’s name. I wish it was Phil Inn, but, it wasn’t. Paul Brown might be it. The story’s been embellished since then… but we’ll go with eight.