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Welfare Program to help former Crows

Rod Jameson of the Crows takes a kick during the 1999 round 13 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Adelaide Crows at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Former Crow Rod Jameson is the Chairman of the Club's Past Players and Officials Committee

Adelaide Football Club’s Past Players and Officials Board has today launched a welfare program to provide support to the Club’s former players.

The program has been established in recognition of the challenges which some footballers face in transitioning from a career in the AFL to the next phase of their life, particularly if they are affected by football-related health and medical issues.

Through the program, past players will benefit from assistance beyond their own networks by being offered support which may include:

- Medical support for past players requiring ongoing medical attention and financial hardship;

- Moral support, advice and guidance provided by members of the AFC Past Players and Officials Welfare Committee;

- Referral and introduction to the AFL Players Association and other associated bodies; and

- Other assistance at the discretion of the Welfare Committee.

Rod Jameson, Chairman of the AFC’s Past Players and Officials Ltd, said the program was designed to support our own group of former players if they are dealing with medical and hardship linked to their football career.

“One of the goals of our Past Players & Officials Board is to provide assistance to our past players to ensure they are successful in the next phase of their life,” Jameson said.

“A number of the AFL’s past players face football-related health and medical issues but don’t ask or receive support once their football careers are finished.

“This program is about providing a resource of support to any former AFC players that are facing challenges following their retirement from football.

“It is designed to complement and link with the AFL Players Association’s resources.”

Former AFL defender Brad Symes, who suffered multiple concussion injuries which forced his retirement from the game in early 2014, has used his own experiences to help with the development of the program.

Symes, who has been working as a financial advisor for the last 18 months, said the program was about letting players know that support was still available once their playing days had concluded.

“It can be tough for some people once they finish footy as you grow up playing it and it’s almost all you do and all you know for a long time, so it can be a big transition,” Symes said.

“What’s more, after playing the game at a high level for a significant amount of time many players accumulate injuries which have an ongoing impact on their lives.

“This welfare program is really about providing an overall support network for past players so they can access advice and strategies from others who have been in a similar situation as well as financial support if it has got to a stage where medical costs are causing hardship.”

In what has become an annual event, a large number of the Club’s past players & officials will attend the Crows’ clash with Brisbane this Saturday, 6 August at Adelaide Oval.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs