When Emmanuel Irra moved to Australia at age 10, he didn’t know a word of English.
He was excited – learning and experiencing things for the first time was a challenge he was drawn to, rather than being frightened of.
The former Port Adelaide-listed player, who became the first Ugandan to be listed by an AFL team in 2016, discussed his football and post-football journey in a feature video in collaboration with the AFL Players’ Association and Torrens University.
Irra was delisted by the Power in 2019, but moved on to playing with Norwood in the SANFL.
“What excited me was how hard it was to actually learn the game. The optimism and the
excitement around not knowing what was going to happen at any given point in time was
something that drew me to the game a lot,” Irra told aflplayers.com.au about his football experience.
Irra is a student at Torrens University Australia and owner of Evolution Concrete Australia. He studies Applied Science and Community Service.
Deb Smith, who lectures at Torrens University Australia, has seen Irra grow substantially in the classroom and in life.
“He takes the concepts that he learns in class and he applies them out in the community,” Smith says.
Irra says he’s developed as an individual since leaving the game and he has his studies, football and his job to thank for it.
“(It’s about) having the courage to then be able to apply that (the skills and knowledge you learn in football) once you leave the game”.
Torrens University is the official education partner of the AFL Players’ Association, offering education opportunities to AFL and AFLW players in a flexible learning environment. With campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, New South Wales, Auckland and China, TUA does not require an ATAR as an entry requirement which makes it an ideal place to commence or continue tertiary education.