The AFL Players’ Association has announced the appointment of Patrick Dangerfield, Will Minson and Jimmy Bartel as Board members for the 2014 season.
Their positions were confirmed at the AFL Players’ Association’s 2014 Season Launch on Tuesday night, after the Players’ Association board voted the trio in at its annual general meeting.
“As the game continues to grow, the ‘PA will become even more significant” – Will Minson
Jimmy Bartel had been a ‘PA club delegate for ten years and is looking forward to a new role within the Players’ Association.
Dangerfield and Minson were also club delegates, for Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs respectively in 2013, but have stepped into the director positions left vacant by Jason Blake, Bob Murphy and Adam Selwood, who retired last season.
“I’m really excited about joining the board – it’s a great honour,” Minson said.
Dangerfield agreed, saying, “I’m really looking forward to being a part of it all.”
Both Minson and Dangerfield spoke of their involvement at the ‘PA as something to be proud of, particularly given the Association’s heightened significance in the current AFL climate.
“As the game grows, which it has done at a rapid rate in the last ten years, the importance of a body that represents the players and the players’ interests is enormous,” Minson said.
“The most important part of the game is the players, so we have to make sure their welfare is taken care of” – Patrick Dangerfield
“As the game continues to grow, that will become even more significant.”
“The most important part of the game is the players, so we have to make sure their welfare is taken care of,” Dangerfield said.
“[The Association is] incredibly important. With the CBA up for renewal in a few years’ time and equalisation being discussed at the moment, the players play a key role in those areas.”
Dangerfield is looking forward to the added responsibilities that come with being a Board member, having “always had an interest in players’ rights”, as is Minson.
“We’ve always had people who are genuinely interested [in the ‘PA],” Minson said.
“You can’t just have people in those positions for the sake of it.”
Dangerfield said positions on the Players’ Association’s Board were highly-distinguished, and having the Board vote him in was a great honour.
“Obviously 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,” he said.
“I think it’s a responsibility I’ll enjoy.”
Both players made mention of players at their clubs who came before them in working with the Players’ Association.
Dangerfield noted the influence Adelaide delegates Chris Knights and Ben Rutten had when he arrived at the club, while Minson remembered Simon Garlick’s impact at the Bulldogs. Garlick played his final game in 2004 – the year Minson played his first.
“Garlo always spoke very well of the Players’ Association and I’ve been able to see the organisation grow in my time in football,” Minson said.
“It’s been incredible how much the organisation has developed and its advocacy for players and strength as an organisation is quite incredible. It’s something I’m very proud to say I’m a part of.”
The players are looking forward to leaving a legacy of their own.
“Not every player reads all the emails or takes in all the commentary on specific player information,” Minson said.
“Things that are critical to their day to day lives – not all of them take as much interest as they necessarily should.
I think it’s incumbent upon the delegates and the Board members to agitate them and promote them and stimulate the discussion, stimulate their interest and guide them as well.”