My story: Demon’s Bachelorette confession
I do watch The Bachelor, I won't lie.
And The Bachelorette.
I don't care what people say, the whole footy club would watch it.
We used to do a big sweep at the Giants, with all the contestants. You'd pay your $10 and if your girl won, or your guy won, you'd get all the money.
The thing is, when you're at a club you have to watch what everyone else watches or you have nothing to talk about! We all watch it and have a giggle about it.
I don't know what it is, but for some reason it has us glued to the television.
Maybe it is seeing what people do in front of a camera that is intriguing, you can't not watch it.
Last year The Bachelor came to the Giants and needed two people to film an episode.
I didn't put my hand up, but straight away the club put me forward and myself and Nicola Barr (AFLW Giants) had to take The Bachelor contestants through a footy obstacle course.
We didn't do much but it was funny to see what went on behind the scenes, like film everything we did three times over, which was pretty frustrating.
I am single, but I hope it doesn't come to that, to be honest.
I really hope it doesn't. I think Mum (Kaye) and Dad (Peter) would disown me.
You never know I suppose, but I don't really want to be on one of those shows.
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It was different running out in the red and blue. I even had to get my mouthguard changed after the first game because I had an orange, white and charcoal one.
Rory Sloane had a laugh in our first Marsh game at Casey Fields, saying: "You got to get that changed, mate."
My dad was a dentist and made me 25 mouthguards all orange, white and charcoal, but he retired so I didn't have anyone to go and get one made.
I ended up calling dad's best mate and rode to Castlemaine after the game to get a red and blue one made.
I'd worn the same orange, white and charcoal one for five years so I thought it best to get it changed.
I'm pretty picky with my mouthguard, the way dad made them you didn't really notice them in your mouth so I wasn't going to get one that's uncomfortable.
I've only got one at the moment so I can't lose this one.
It brings you down to earth walking into a place like Ronald McDonald House. It makes you second guess complaining about anything really.
I was a partner at Ronald McDonald House at Westmead Hospital, Parramatta, and now I'm with one at Parkville.
If I can do anything to change a kid's day from bad to good, or bad to not as bad, I'll do it because I've been so blessed to do what I love and wanted to do for so long.
The kids don't care that I'm a footballer.
They see me as someone who doesn't have a clipboard or a thermometer, not a doctor and not going to give them bad news.
I'm there to kick a footy with them, play PlayStation or just to sit and have a chat. If it changes their day for the good I'll keep doing it as long as I can.
I got close to a little boy called Josh, in Sydney. He was five years old and had cancerous tumours in his stomach.
Josh would come into the changerooms after games, the boys at the club would do videos for him. It was great to see him and his family be happy for just that moment.
I spent nine months with him before he unfortunately passed away.
It was a really hard thing to deal with, but I'd do every day, over and over again.
When I took him through the banner, I'll never forget it.
Dad and I try to play golf at least once a week.
We're not the world's greatest golfers, we just enjoy it. I'm off nine (handicap) and he's off 11.
I've been able to hit a bigger ball than him since I was 16 or so but still, if he gets a hold of it he's not too bad.
The man is a phenomenal putter though, won't chip around the green. He'll putt from 30m off and somehow put it close, I guess that comes with a bit of old age.
I started playing when I was 10 or 11. Dad got me a set of sticks and I'd hack around the course with him and Mum.
By the time I got reasonable at it (15-16) my footy was becoming more serious and I stopped playing.
It wasn't until my second or third year at the Giants I got back into it and when I'd come back to Melbourne it was something Mum, Dad and I could do together.
When I wasn't playing football I was on the course. It wasn't stressful unless you played terrible golf.
To play golf you have to concentrate solely on golf, it's not a sport you can just walk around and hack it.
I turn my phone off and solely focus on golf, which is great.
Phil Davis, Toby Greene, Aiden Corr, Heath Shaw, Nick Haynes, Adam Kennedy … I could name half the Giants team because I spent so much time with all of them every day.
I spend my time in the car driving just on the phone because I miss them a lot.
Once a week I sit on Zoom with Heath Shaw and we have dinner together.
We used to have dinner a lot in Sydney, so doing things like that during the isolation made it a bit of fun to catch up and makes you feel a little bit closer than what you are.
I couldn't have enjoyed my time in Sydney more.
LESSONS ACCORDING TO … HEATH SHAW AND PHIL DAVIS
All they do is care about you as a person and all they want to do is win.
They just go about it in completely different ways.
People think Heath is demonstrative on the field, but that's his way of communicating and the harder he yelled was because he was close to you and knew you could take it.
It was amazing to see those two in the same backline. I played in between them for a long time, just to see two completely different characters operate so well together.
RED & BLUE
I'd met "Goody" (Simon Goodwin) many times throughout my playing career and never thought anything of it. It wasn't until he called me and wanted to meet that I thought it was a genuine chance and opportunity that I could be part of a club with such a rich history.
Once I made the decision to leave the footy club where I had learnt so much I was nothing but excited to join my new teammates and meet everyone. The relationships I have made and built in such a short time is a massive reason why I want to play for this jumper already.
Goody has been great to work with as a player but it's been even better to get to know him on a more personal level. I appreciate everything he has done for me already and he gives me great confidence to play and keep developing.
Every football club is like all other football clubs, but the characters you meet make you laugh, smile and cringe all at the same time. Christian Petracca is exactly all of those traits. I could name so many of the players and how they add to bringing energy into the group and making it a great place to go everyday. They are the reasons I've enjoyed every minute since being at the club. They are who I missed when we couldn't go and train as a group. I play footy to prove to myself I can compete with the best. I play to make my teammates better in all aspects and I play for my family.
I've learnt so much in eight years of footy and all I want to do is help and contribute to getting this football club closer to playing in the last game of the year.
Max Gawn is a phenomenal person.
I see so many similarities between him and Phil Davis and Callan Ward, the way they go about football and leadership.
They're (Davis and Gawn) so similar but completely different characters, all great leaders have got some characteristics that make them who they are.
To see how hard Max works first-hand blew me away, it's why he's such a good player.
I'd met Max a few times before, my best mate is Dom Tyson, and he was down on the Mornington Peninsula in the off-season so we got to train together.
I got to see how hard he works and the type of person he is away from the media.
We played primary school state footy together, at Trinity Grammar together, at Camberwell Sharks together, we got drafted together and then he left me!
Since moving back to Melbourne I have spent a lot of time with Dom and couldn't speak higher of a person.
The best thing is you have someone to do stuff with outside footy. My other mates all have full-time jobs so it's great to be able to run with Dom, go to the gym, or just play golf.
It is a massive help to have someone there every step of the way and to bounce things off and make sure you're doing all right.
Before the lockdown it was supposed to be a Round 2 match at the MCG.
That was circled in from when the fixture was released and I was pretty nervous about it.
Not that anything bad was going to happen but just playing against your old mob was something I have never encountered before.
Now the fixture is in blocks I don't know when it will be.
Whoever I wind up on the wing against will be funny, especially if it's Adam Kennedy. We're very close, it will be hard not to have a giggle standing on the white line next to him.
GRAND FINAL DAY
It happened in the blink of an eye.
We kicked the first goal and all of a sudden it's half way through the second quarter and we were five goals down.
All of a sudden we were too far behind.
It was an emotional few hours, not just the loss but it being my last game for the Giants.
Only a few people knew, at the time, and Nick Haynes was one of them.
Nick and I have a lot of history, our mums grew up in Bendigo and moved to Melbourne when they were 18 and lived together so I've known the Haynes family for a long time.
He was one of the first I told when I made the decision to leave Sydney.
To be really close mates, wearing No.19 and 20 we literally had done every step of the way together.
Every pre-game and post-game we'd sit together in the same (defensive) group and the fact I've known him since before I started playing footy, it was a really emotional moment.
It was a bit of a surprise actually, to see big Joey (Daniher) walking into Tom Harley's house.
I just happened to drive past Tom's place, we lived around the corner from each other in Sydney, and saw a couple of people get out of a car and walk into the house.
Joey isn't exactly someone you can really hide.
Normally I'd toot to say hello to Tom because he was an old coach of mine but I realised I probably shouldn't toot that day.
I was straight on the phone to (Giants backline coach) Mark McVeigh and said, "Have you heard anything?", because his brother Jarrad was at the Swans.
I didn't spread any rumours or anything like that, but it got out.
Originally published as My story: Demon's Bachelorette confession