Will Minson is one of seven nominees for the AFL Players’ Association Madden Medal, an award that recognises more than on-field performances, with off-field achievements, personal development and community spirit also taken into account.
After 14 years of ups and downs, Will Minson knew it was time to move on.
The former Western Bulldogs ruckman isn’t your typical footy head and has always understood the importance of personal development off the field.
After spending the majority of his life living a professional athlete’s lifestyle, Minson wants time away.
“It becomes all-consuming because for 14 years, every second of my life was about being better at this sport,” Minson told Aflplayers.com.au.
“As an athlete, everything you do is about being a better footballer including how you train, how you eat, how you sleep and even how you sit.”
When his time was up at the Dogs and there was an offer on the table from another club, Minson, after a period of consideration, was eager to move into the next phase of his life.
Like many recently retired footballers, the 31-year-old has taken off overseas for some extended travel, but his thirst for knowledge will see him continuing his education in the middle of his travels.
“My interests at the moment lie beyond football. Traveling the world and learning bits and pieces about business and other cultures doesn’t involve footy, which excites me.
“If, after all those experiences, I come back of the belief that Aussie Rules is the best sport in the world and how can I get back into it then I’ll sink my teeth into it, but based on my experiences in the game I don’t think I’ll come back with those feelings.”
Although Minson’s body enabled him to play another season or two, he was well-prepared for a career away from the field.
He completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in civil engineering throughout his playing career and is a long time Red Dust Role Model — an organisation that aims to reduce chronic disease in remote Indigenous communities.
It’s an area that Minson’s eager to explore as he continues down an education pathway.
“I might consider doing an MBA somewhere down the track and I’m looking at a few executive courses at a few business schools overseas also.
“In the future, I’d like to run a culture exchange program which takes city slickers into remote aboriginal communities and exposes them to the wonders of aboriginal culture and create a two-way learning experience.”
Will Minson’s achievements on and off the field:
ON FIELD ACHIEVEMENTS
- 191 AFL Games
- All-Australian 2013
- 1X 3rd Western Bulldogs Best and Fairest
- AFL Rising Star Nominee 2005
- Pre-season Premiership Player 2010
OFF FIELD ACHIEVEMENTS
- Bachelor of Civil Engineering
- AFLPA Board Member
- Red Dust Role Model
- F1 Grand Prix Ambassador
- Western Bulldogs Life Member