These AFLW players have found a new way to spend their time. They’ve traded their footy boots and games for steel caps and night shifts.
These AFLW players have found a new way to spend their time. They’ve traded their footy boots and games for steel caps and night shifts.

How these AFLW players swapped footy boots for steel caps

AFLW stars Kerryn Harrington, Maddy Prespakis, Ash Riddell and Grace Egan have exchanged their footy boots for steel-toed work boots as they take on unexpected new roles due to the corona crisis.

Carlton captain Harrington, alongside teammates Prespakis and Egan and Kangaroos star Riddell, are working the night shift at freight company Border Express after the AFLW season was cut short.

All four are grateful for the opportunity to learn new skills, earn some money and have a legitimate reason to leave their homes and catch up with their teammates and new colleagues at the parcel dispatch centre in Tullamarine.

"It was a pretty brutal full stop to the end of the season. This is different to anything we're used to but it's a nice opportunity to get some income and catch up with people as well," Harrington says.

AFLW players Maddy Prespakis (front), Ash Riddell, Kerryn Harrington and Grace Egan swap their footy boots for steel-toes shoes. Picture: Mark Stewart
AFLW players Maddy Prespakis (front), Ash Riddell, Kerryn Harrington and Grace Egan swap their footy boots for steel-toes shoes. Picture: Mark Stewart

Blues best and fairest winner Prespakis says she felt a sense of dislocation when the season abruptly ended as they were on their way to making the Grand Final.

"You go from doing something everyday with all these girls to doing absolutely nothing for a month, that was tricky. It's a relief to have a routine and something to look forward to," she says.

The athletes' manager, Alex Saundry from More Than Management, worked hard to find the girls a job when the season was cut short and they lost their regular employment.

Essendon players Jake Stringer, Jayden Leverde, Jason Townsend and Shaun McKernan are among a group of AFL players also working the nightshift while the season is suspended.

Border Express CEO Mostafa Kassaby says they are pleased to be able to support people though the crisis.

"We are proud during these challenging times to be able to offer opportunities for those who want to learn more about the transport industry to further their skills and progress as an alternative career," he says.

Originally published as How these AFLW players swapped footy boots for steel caps


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