More than 100 AFL draftees came together in Melbourne on Monday to continue their AFL education at the annual two-day AFL Players’ Association/AFL Induction Camp.
The players took part in interactive sessions with AFLPA staff on the first day of the camp, learning about the comprehensive support, education programs and resources available to them throughout their careers.
These sessions covered topics such as career development, financial literacy, AFL Players Care, wellbeing and player rights and advocacy.
AFL Players’ Association General Manager of Player Development Brett Johnson said the camp provides an opportunity for all draftees to learn about the wide range of first-class programs, services and benefits available to them through their AFLPA membership.
“The key focus of this camp is to ensure the players understand what the AFLPA has to offer them during and after their AFL careers and how these programs and services can help them maximise their time in the game both on and off the field,” Johnson said.
“With the average AFL career being just over six years, we encourage the draftees to jump right into their off-field development to ensure they’re prepared and equipped for what a career after football might look like.”
AFL Players’ Association President Matthew Pavlich officially welcomed the players into the AFLPA during his opening address, explaining how the AFLPA will assist them throughout their careers and shared an insight into what it takes to build a successful AFL career.
Former Saint Leigh Montagna facilitated a panel of current and past players, consisting of former Kangaroo and Eagle Drew Petrie, former North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow and Richmond premiership player Kane Lambert.
No.1 draft pick Cameron Rayner, from the Brisbane Lions, said he was amazed to learn how much AFLPA membership provides players.
“Being able to get around and chat to the AFLPA staff today gave us the opportunity to learn about the support available to us as players,” he said.
“Hearing from AFL legends such as Matthew Pavlich, Leigh Montagna and Drew Petrie today really demonstrated that doing something off field is the key to a long and successful career. I’m just really excited to get stuck into it.”
On day two of the camp, the players will be briefed by the AFL on the Illicit Drugs Policy, match-fixing, gambling and anti-doping.