About Stakes

About Stakes


“Thank you for stopping by”

A passion of mine has always been to educate and assist other athletes. I am now a past player AFL player and my passion comes in the light of coaching. I am currently an Assistant Coach with the Brisbane Lions AFLW team and with that I’m currently completing my Level 3 High Performance AFL Coaching course. My career allowed me the ability live out my childhood dream of playing AFL football (THE AFL) which I was very privileged to do for 13 years. It was a career that exceeded all my expectations. My football career was by far the most challenging period of my life teaching me who I am. Since retirement I have enjoyed my time as an assistant coach with the Brisbane Lions AFLW team. My passion to assist others extends further than just my assistant coach duties. It comes in the form of teaching and coaching aspiring AFL athletes both make and female via programs on this website. I plan to help existing players who need to sharpen their game as well. Sharing my insight to help educate male and female footballers from all ages and locations is something I’m super excited about. I plan to deliver the best forms of coaching and education so you can achieve your dreams and goals.

“My journey was great fun with no regrets. I had many high’s with some tough low’s however I made sure I  always had an attitude to attack every twist and turn head on”

“I would never change a thing!”


There are many footballers, male & female spread across this great country who all share a special beginning.

Here is a little about my pathway…

I was born and grew up in a small town in far west New South Wales called Broken Hill. My family is made up of Mum (Rosemary), Dad (Allen otherwise known as ‘Badger’) and my younger Sister (Shae). We are all born and bred in Broken Hill with my folks and sister still living in Broken Hill today. We have been an extremely close family and have always shared a strong passion for AFL football thanks to Dad back in the day. My old man was a footballer for many years and a very good one at that. He played till he was 35yrs of age playing over 311 games with 4 best and fairest awards. I watched him like a hawk growing up replicating everything he did. Badger as the locals know him was a left footer. He was a CHB (centre half back) for our local team the West Broken Hill Robins. He would hate me saying this but the old boy is somewhat of an icon in town.

Growing up in Broken Hill I was forever participating in loads of sports, always active and trying my hand at every opportunity. My time was spent between basketball, football, soccer and cross country running however at 13yrs I soon inspired myself. I shifted my focus towards a goal and that goal was to play AFL football. I wanted to get there at costs. I wanted to make the big league but soon realized I had to do more then the current training I was already doing.

I was talented at both basketball and AFL playing representative games for both codes over many years. Playing football was where I felt my natural abilities were and having Dad with expertise was an added bonus. I loved the intensity of the game and the mate-ship, therefore the decision was easy. I made a decision and committed to the challenge of seeing how far I could go with AFL. Before I knew it I was part of my local & regional development squads participating at football carnivals all over NSW covering hundreds of kilometers just to play a representive game. Fast forward a few more years, at the ripe old age of 16.5yrs on I was asked to relocate to Canberra to become a member of the NSW/ACT Rams team. This was a massive stage and turning point in my life. I became a member of the NSW/ACT Rams TAC cup team and was over the moon. It was an opportunity I had to go for although an extremely hard decision at such a young age. My folks also knew that this was a chance I had to take and grab with both hands. I spent two years living in Canberra representing the Rams between 2001 and 2002. In the early stages I never really understood what this competition would expose me too. It was a big deal to represent and play for the Rams and I soon realized how serious this competition was. I also battled homesickness and missed my mates that a grew up with. All I had was a pen and paper to stay in contact as mobile phones were non existent back then. However I had no choice but to stay strong and keep my eye firmly on my goal. During my two years in Canberra I was able to represent NSW/ACT at the National Carnival in Melbourne competing against some of the finest players in the country. We played against the other states like Queensland and Northern Territory and Tasmania and I represented NSW respectively. These carnivals bring together the best talent from all over the country to fight it out in front of recruiters from the AFL teams. The recruiters and spotters all trying to identify the future talent.

There is no doubt that taking the chance to leave home was a extremely tough decision – but I knew in my heart it was the right decision and I never looked back!


‘I feel very blessed to have lived out my childhood dream’

My AFL career spanned 13 seasons with two amazing football clubs – the West Coast Eagles and the Brisbane Lions. As a youngster I always thought if I can play one game in the AFL it would be the best thing ever. I completely exceeded my own expectations and achieved 160 senior games – 159 more than I ever expected – talk about a dream come true (110 games with West Coast and 50 games with the Lions).

I started my journey with the West Coast Eagles in Perth during the November of 2002. I was lucky enough to be drafted to the Eagles at pick number #37 and this is where my journey began. I was a scrawny 18 year old when drafted, there wasn’t much of me. Rocking up to the Eagles club rooms to play football alongside some big units like Glen Jackovich and Daniel Chick just to name a couple had me very nervous. I had no clue what I was in for but I knew I had to have a go to give myself the best chance to succeed in the AFL. I also new it could be a long wait as the eagles had a start studded line up with so many good players on their list. I think every player remembers their first day/season at their football club and mine turned out to be one I will never forget. My first ever senior game with Eagles came in 2003 on a Friday night. It was Round 17 against Hawthorn at Subiaco Oval. This game was so special to me because I had my family in the crowd. The game for me was kind of a blur but there are some moments that I will never forget. These special moments include my two first ever kicks ever in the AFL. Both kicks resulted in two goals and I remember the crowd how loud they were cheering. The emotion and the high I felt after kicking those goals words simply can’t explain. The game was different back then compared to the modern game we play today. If it was your first game you had to sit and wait until you were called up from the bench to go on. I didn’t come on until the last quarter and when they said “stakes you’re going on” I almost went into shock. Andrew Embley busted his collarbone in tackle right in front of the bench and that’s how my opportunity that night arrived.

My Journey at the Eagles was an amazing journey for me which spanned 7 seasons from 2003 to 2009 with many highlights. Playing in the 2005 Grand Final against the Sydney Swans is a huge highlight for that I’m very fond of. We lost the game and my performance wasn’t that great but for me it was still an incredible experience especially at 21yrs of age. It’s something that I will never forget. Grand Final day is a dream of any footballer and to be there with your teammates and best mates was truly something very special.

I was super lucky to play alongside some absolute super stars of the modern era at the Eagles. Players like Chris Judd, Ben Cousins, Dean Cox, that list could go on forever. The talent I rubbed shoulders with at training and learnt from at the Eagles I consider myself lucky.

‘New beginnings, brings new life’

My time in the west drew to a close at the end of 2009 and I was faced with a tough decision but led to a new opportunity. This opportunity involved moving to a new team and a new city on the other side of Australia. Shifting to Queensland to join the mighty Brisbane Lions Football Club was something I could not refuse. To be part of the team that had been a such a powerful force during the early 2000’s who I played against was something I was very excited to be part of. The Brisbane team was still a star studded line up. I couldn’t wait to get started and begin my new chapter with this iconic team and wonderful organization.

My career spanned 6 years with the Brisbane Lions from 2010 – 2015. My first season in the new colors was by far my most successful. I managed to play all 22 games in 2010 finishing 7th in the club champion award, the highest I had ever finished in my career. It was a grueling season that seemed to go on forever and for me personally it was a breakout year. I managed to take more marks then previous seasons and felt I had a lot of responsibility in the team, which I felt comfortable with under the watch of my new coach Michael Voss. It was the following season where my career stalled and where I faced some of the hardest challenges of my life. I suffered a season ending injury in Round 1 of 2011 rupturing my acl (anterior cruciate ligament) against the Fremantle Dockers at the Gabba. There is a saying out there that I once heard and it goes “you don’t know how strong you are, until strong is your only option”. For me the tough road that I had just found myself on was just the beginning as I suffered many setbacks right up until my retirement in late August 2015. That saying rang so true and helped me get through some very dark days whilst injured. I tried to make sure that I was the best footballer I could possibly be, giving my all in rehab and continuing to support the senior team and the Lions NEAFL team. The biggest challenge for any athlete which I discovered is physical health and mental well being. This gets tested when your unable to perform and do what you do best. It can really rock the boat and throw you around.

Having my fair share of bad luck due to injury causing set backs definitely made me aware of the dark side of professional sport causing stress, hardship and at times anxiety. I am proud to say that I hit these challenges head on and came out the other side stronger and a more well rounded person because of it. I’m proud that I kept my eye on the prize and made sure I had little wins along the way to keep me motivated to achieving a come back.

My time at the lions was great and I feel privileged to play alongside some greats of the game. I forged new friendships in Queensland and most of all I can say I got to represent the Brisbane Lions Fitzroy Football Club.

Sadly as I got older my body got slower and ultimately I had to call time on my career in August 2015.

“I will forever hold the West Coast Eagles and the Brisbane Lions close to my heart for taking a chance on me and giving me the opportunity to live out my childhood dream”



Now days I do a bunch of different things. Life is FUN!!! I have figured out that I like to stay busy, keeping my mind occupied at all times…There is no time for rest. We can do that later on in life.

My past times – I’m involved with Crocmedia , a media company who are based out of Melbourne. I deliver special comments on game day to all Queensland based AFL games keeping a close eye on the Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns. I’m also proud to be involved with the Brisbane Lions AFLW team as an assistant coach as mentioned previously. Women’s sport is a very exciting space to be part of at the moment so I’m very lucky to have a role to play within the team helping the girls develop and achieve their dreams.

My day job – I work in sales selling management rights business’s based here is Brisbane. I have been selling management rights for almost 3 years now with a proud company called Resort Brokers Australia

So that’s me!

I look forward to working with you maybe even meeting you. Ultimately I want to help improve your AFL skillset, mindset and performance.

Thanks again – Cheers