Written by Jack Carroll. Article originally posted here.

AT THE beginning of 2019, I made a decision that I would take a chance on myself: I decided to enrol in the Carlton College of Sport (CCoS). 

Upon going through the application process and finding out I had been accepted, I just couldn’t wait to get started. The first day came around before I knew it and my nerves about my decision went straight out the window.

Immediately, I knew I had made the right decision and I was ready to start something great. 

For me, I always knew that I wanted to work within an elite sporting organisation as this had been my dream from the age of six. But the question still remained: ‘how do I get there and what part of the industry is best for me?’

That’s where the CCoS really stood out for me. 

I got to experience a number of different placement opportunities across the business in areas such as events, match-day activations and community placement. 


The placement side of the program was the best part of the CCoS. 

I really enjoyed running clinics for the junior members. It had me thinking, ‘is junior development the path for me?’

After the second member clinic, my mind was made up. I knew this was the right career path for me. 

I thought from there, ‘what is the next step to make this a reality?’ I decided to put my hand up and complete a placement at the MCG as part of the Toyota AFL Grand Final Live Site where I delivered NAB AFL AUSKICK clinics for the AFL. I got to work alongside AFL staff and AFL players: it was great, it was a surreal experience. 

From this experience I reached out to Lisa Kennedy – the main contact for the clinics who also happened to be the National Participation Training and Development Lead for the AFL – about how I could turn this into a potential career. 

This turned out to be the best thing I could have done. Upon reaching out to Lisa for further information around the junior development area in conjunction with my work at the AUSKICK clinics, Lisa thought I was a great candidate and went on to recommend me to a potential employer.  

That employer was in fact a Football Development Manager for AFL Victoria. I’m proud to say that I’m now employed as a Game Development Officer: the role involves running AFL clinics in schools, AUSKICK clinics and a range of other promotion and development activities.

The last thing I’ll leave you with is my biggest recommendation for all of the new CCoS students, or just anyone who wants to work in professional sport: build connections and be proactive. 

The possibilities are there if you are prepared to put your best foot forward and work hard.