Delisted Footballers: Supporting well-being through continued participation in state-based levels

Deb Agnew, Elizabeth Abery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Australian football is a sport that is uniquely Australian. The national elite-level Australian Football League (AFL) competition offers full-time paid employment for male footballers. At an individual state level, second-tier league or sub-elite competitions include the South Australian National Football League (SANFL), the West Australian Football League (WAFL) and Victorian Football League (VFL). In the case of Australian football, the state leagues are independent systems and, whilst players are paid, the remuneration is considerably less than at the elite level; it is not considered full-time employment, and the players tend to have vocations in other industries in addition to playing in these competitions. Upon being drafted (contracted) to an AFL club, most young men have a firm belief that they will make a successful career from football and do not contemplate lifeafter football and its consequences as their focus is on what is required to maintain their performance and stature as an elite player (Hickey & Kelly, 2008). The reality is that very few players develop long and sustainable careers in the elite national competition (Johnson, 2014) and “in the world of AFL football, retirement is rarely at the discretion of the player” (Hickey & Kelly, 2008, p. 501).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAthlete Transitions into Retirement
Subtitle of host publicationExperiences in Elite Sport and Options for Effective Support
EditorsDeborah Agnew
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003020189
ISBN (Print)9780367432867, 9781032047768
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Transitions in sport
  • Retirement in sport
  • Experiences in elite sport
  • life after sport
  • Australian Football League (AFL)
  • second-tier league
  • sub-elite competition
  • South Australian National Football League (SANFL)
  • West Australian Football League (WAFL)
  • Victorian Football League (VFL)


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