Kicking The Stigma Project: Tasmania

Today I suited up for the Glenorchy Football Club in the Tasmanian State League Mercury Cup. It was supposedly a decent afternoon for the Taswegians but when the rain came it felt like I was in the Arctic. Glenorchy are a really proud club with players like Peter Hudson, Rodney Eade, Adrian Fletcher, Roy Cazaly just a few names to come through the club. A couple of players and volunteers pulled me aside and spoke about their personal issues with mental health. I think that shows that the stigma is subsiding, which is great.


Former Brisbane Lions forward Aaron Cornelius, who also had a stint in the NTFL with Nightcliff, coaches the Glenorchy Football Club but can unfortunately no longer play due to injury. He snapped his leg in half after taking a speccy in the goal square a couple of years ago and has not played since. He has had 24 operations on his leg and was seriously lucky to avoid amputation. It was a very gruesome injury – one that prematurely ended a talented footballer’s career – but he coached Glenorchy to a premiership last season so good to see him getting success in that caper.



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Funny how football works and how it brings people together. I had the opportunity to play for the Brisbane Lions reserves as a 16-year-old when they would grab Northern Territory State Academy kids as top up players. Cornelius also played in that game as a young bloke trying to break into the Lions’ AFL team. My goal was to not look silly in front of a big crowd, while he had been dominating at that level, so we were at opposite ends of the spectrum. It was always a tricky juggling act mixing raw kids with players on AFL lists and I know some players would flatly refuse to pass the ball to the top ups. But Cornelius was undoubtedly the most unselfish of the listed players. He gave a goal to me that he probably could have kicked himself and he was always a reassuring presence in the change rooms. I suppose there’s no surprise that he has transitioned well to coaching. #ItAintWeakToSpeak



Lifeline (and hyperlink the word Lifeline to: ) is a free and confidential support service which can be reached on 13 11 14.

Beyond Blue (and link that to can be reached on 1300 22 46 36.

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.

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