Each year, hundreds of wannabe AFL players around the country spend the month of November in anguish as draft day looms, but for former Tiger Kelvin Moore, it was the complete opposite.
Before undertaking an 87-game career as a staunch defender for Richmond, Moore was a carefree teenager who had no aspirations to play at the elite level.
In fact, so carefree was Moore that it was his mum Gale who signed him up for the national draft at the end of 2002, and in doing so, is responsible for her son’s AFL career.
“I’d spoken to a few of the AFL clubs who had come to watch players from others schools during school footy and they suggested I put my name in the draft and I wasn’t too fussed about it all,” Moore told Aflplayers.com.au.
“Mum actually filled out all the paperwork and everything and sent it all in. She was on my back about it and I remember saying ‘mum, if it gets you off my back, you do it’ and she did, so thanks mum.”
Admitting he didn’t really care about a career in football, Moore was overlooked in the national draft and spent a month training with Melbourne before the Tigers pounced on the athletic defender with pick three in the rookie draft.
Receiving the opportunity at Richmond seemed to flick the switch for Moore and he relished the chance to make a career as an AFL player, establishing himself in the Tigers’ line-up in 2008 with 22 games and a fifth placing in the club’s best and fairest award.
A couple of consistent seasons followed before Moore was struck down with a serious hip injury that saw him miss a season and a half of footy, and he announced his retirement in 2012 after 10 years on Richmond’s list.
Four years have passed since Moore was forced to end his footy career but hip troubles continue to give the 32-year-old grief today and has limited his ability to exercise in retirement.
“I had a lot of hip trouble in my footy career. Throughout my career I had nine hip operations in 10 years and it got to a stage where I had a major reconstruction of my pelvis and I came back and played a few games, but it was getting worse and worse.
“I saw a surgeon and it got to the point where it wasn’t smart to keep going. Even day-to-day, I get a lot of pain and struggle do up my shoelaces let alone play any physical activity like golf where there isn’t a lot of rotation on my swing.
“They’re just the cards I was dealt so you learn to deal with it. I loved my time playing footy but I haven’t been able to play since.”
But that hasn’t stopped Moore staying involved in the game.
A stint as Richmond’s match-day runner initially followed his time as a player and he held a coaching position with Scotch College for two years.
Recently, Moore accepted an assistant role with Montrose in the Eastern Football League, working under the guidance of newly-appointed Demons coach and former Tigers teammate Adam Pattison.
While he has enjoyed coaching “more than he thought he would,” Moore is keeping his coaching aspirations limited to the local level.
Away from the field, he is often frequently seen behind the bar at The Sporting Globe in Richmond, where he is a co-owner.
With a young child now in his life, Moore is looking for work that’s more family friendly, but he’s content with how things are traveling.
“I love owning the Sporting Globe and I’m keen to keep doing that but working in hospitality has a shelf life, and I now have a six-week-old at home, a son Lenny, so working late nights isn’t fair on my partner, so I’ll look at doing something else,” Moore added.
“I’m not sure what that is but I’m not in a rush at the moment to find something.”