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Spangher stars at sport symposium

“Don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work first up.”

It’s a mantra that has served Matt Spangher well.

“Don’t get discouraged or get pigeonholed into one thing. Don’t be afraid to take the next step” – Matt Spangher

The 27-year-old had stints at West Coast and Sydney during premiership years before becoming a Hawk for the 2013 season. After watching on as an emergency during the 2013 Grand Final, Spangher finally got his chance in 2014 – and at long last, he won that elusive premiership.

His journey away from the field has followed a similar trajectory – something the 51-gamer outlined at last week’s AFL Players’ / La Trobe University Sport Symposium, when he sat alongside a panel of industry experts in the field of player development.

“I started off at La Trobe as a podiatry student – that didn’t work for me,” Spangher said.

“Then I tried a financial planning degree, which wasn’t for me either, and then eventually I did a bit of a generic business degree. It’s taken me a long time to figure out what I want to do other than to play football.”

That was the key message Spangher hoped to pass onto those in attendance, who learnt about player development and the growing opportunities that exist within the AFL and broader sports industry.

“Don’t get discouraged or get pigeonholed into one thing. Don’t be afraid to take the next step – that’d be the one thing I could offer.”

Spangher joined AFL Players’ General Manager of Player Development, Brett Johnson, Paul Kiteley from the Victorian Institute of Sport, Dr Paul O’Halloran of La Trobe University and Hawthorn player development manager Nicky Couston on the panel.

Want a career in sport? Click here to find out what courses are on offer at La Trobe University.