Dozens of past players and officials gathered at Kingston Links Golf Club last Friday for the annual Past Players and Officials Golf Day.
President of North Melbourne Past Players, Frank Goode – who played 73 games for the club between 1961 and ’67, and played golf with a few old North Melbourne teammates on Friday – said the event gave players a chance to network and reminisce about days gone by.
“When you get a group from different clubs you get some terrific stories and have a lot of laughs,” Goode told aflplayers.com.au.
“It means a bit more to you when you’re a bit older – you get more sentimental about that sort of stuff.”
Goode said the events are always well received, adding, “even though we’re clanking around with metal knees and hips.”
Keith Burns, the President of the Past Players and Officials group – who played 28 games for Collingwood between 1957 and 1961 – said, “one of our major objectives now is to provide opportunities for past players and officials of every AFL club to have the chance to make acquaintances again and get on with each other.”
“Every Victorian club is associated with us and we’re starting to work into the interstate ones a bit.
“It means a bit more to you when you’re a bit older – you get more sentimental about that sort of stuff.” – Frank Goode
“We offer programs that don’t cost as much as if they were done outside.”
While Past Player groups at clubs offer similar events, Goode explains there are benefits to combined groups.
“These are a terrific opportunity to not only catch up with your teammates, but to talk to players from other clubs that you used to play against.
“As you get a bit older, it all means a lot more to you than when you’ve just quit the game. We have a great time.”
Aside from his involvement with the Combined Past Players and Officials group and the North Melbourne Past Players group, Goode is also on the AFL Players’ Association’s Past Player Advisory Board. With a thorough understanding of the services available to past players, Goode says he has a simple message when speaking to those he played footy with and against.
“I think that any past player that’s not a member of the Players’ Association has got to be not thinking right.”
Unfortunately, Goode has been in a position where he’s had to call on the PA for assistance.
“Just with the reimbursement of hospital excess, I’ve had 3000 dollars over the last six years – because I’ve been in hospital every year. What the Players’ Association does now for past players is terrific.”
That assistance has been a great help to Goode, but there’s plenty more available to players who have worse circumstances.
“With the hardship fund, we [on the Past Players’ Advisory Board] don’t hear about it. People don’t often put their hand up and say ‘I’m in trouble’,” Goode says.
“But we’ve been able to help quite a few people with the Geoff Prior scheme and the Players’ Trust. You can get lots of assistance in worthwhile places.”
Those interested in joining the AFL Players’ Alumni program can do so by giving a one-off payment of 50 dollars. For more information, contact Alumni Manager, Brad Fisher at email@example.com or on 8651 4366.