Former Kuwarna small forward Jarrhan Jacky always had his sights set on working in the fitness industry post-football.

Jacky, who was on the Club’s AFL list from 2008-2010, returned home to Western Australia as a qualified personal trainer after his time at West Lakes.

But with injuries continuing to hamper him, Jacky scored a traineeship with Australian multinational mining and metals public company, BHP, and it took him down a career path that was “never on the radar”.

Speaking to AFC Media ahead of this week’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round, the proud Bardi man said he enjoyed working within the mining sector, despite it not being what he thought he would do.

“(The career) was never on my radar,” Jacky said.

“I had become a personal trainer, I did my Certificate III and IV and I was a qualified personal trainer, so thought I’d stay in the fitness area and health and wellbeing.

“When I left Adelaide, I played a bit of footy in the WAFL but I got injured and it was time to look at something new.

“I started a traineeship at BHP I worked through and got a few certificates in operational processing through TAFE and on the job learning. It’s been a good experience.”

Fast forward to now and Jacky, 35, is still working in the same field, but for Kimberley Mineral Sands.

“I am living in Broome and I am the supervisor at a process plant,” Jacky said.

“I look after a crew of five or six operators and that includes keeping the plant running and processing the mineral sands and the control system.

“My job came up in 2014 and I was really lucky to get that.

“There were a few hundred applicants and I had to do a few aptitude tests but it was great to get the opportunity and I enjoy it.”

Injuries unfortunately hampered much of Jacky’s football career at both AFL and WAFL level.

Kuwarna selected Jacky with Pick No.30 at the 2007 AFL National Draft and he said it was a shock to be drafted by the Club, given he had little contact with the recruiters.

“I do remember it (the draft) quite vividly, I was with a couple of really good mates from my WAFL under-18s colts side,” Jacky said.

“We were all in the lounge room, the parents and all us kids, and it was great, I couldn’t believe it.

“I didn’t think Adelaide was going to be an option at all because I spoke to Adelaide and I just assumed I’d be picked by one of the WA teams or Victorian.

“It was a bit of a shock going to South Australia, somewhere I had never been before, but I would’ve gone anywhere that was going to give me a chance.”

He made his debut against Fremantle in Round Five, 2008 and went on to play two more games for the Club before being delisted at the end of the 2010 season. 

“I remember my debut game being very fast. I remember trying to receive a handball from Bunji (Andrew McLeod), I think it was one of my first touches, and I was running so fast that I think it hit me in the chest or the face,” Jacky, who also featured in the Indigenous All Stars team in 2009, said.

“It was so overwhelming but so exciting and then playing against guys at Freo as well was quite daunting, coming from WA. It was an interesting day and I really enjoyed it.

“My AFL career was an interesting one…I was in the same draft year as Tex, then Sloaney came through the year after, Petrenko (who was drafted in 2008) was there, and Tony Armstrong was also in my draft year, so we had a few good players coming through.

“I think my body and my mind just gave up in the end and I probably have a little bit of regret there but I just don’t think the mind and the body could give any more at that stage so I was pretty happy to go home at that stage and have a break.”

Although Jacky’s AFL career finished at the end of 2010, he returned to WA and continued playing football in the WAFL for a few years before hanging up the boots for good, due to the injuries he sustained.

With his body and mind tired, Jacky took a break from watching football but the father-of-three said his love for the game had recently returned.

He said he was enjoying watching Kuwarna play and was looking forward to watching the side take to the field during Sir Doug Nicholls Round against Waalitj Marawar (West Coast) this Sunday.

“I still text with a lot of the guys, the Aboriginal boys I played alongside at Adelaide,” Jacky said.

“I think Indigenous Round is important because it highlights not only the talent but celebrates the really great things our Indigenous players do off-field, too.

“I love the jumpers every year as well.”