PFA camp gives O'Doherty insight into life as a professional footballer

Cam O'Doherty
Cam O'Doherty believes he's better prepared for a career as a footballer after last weeks PFA's induction camp.

FFA Centre of Excellence's Cam O'Doherty says last week's Professional Footballers Australia induction camp gave him an insight into life as a professional athlete.

The PFA hosted their inaugural two-day mass player induction camp in Melbourne which was aimed at equipping players with the necessary skills to excel on and off the pitch.

Workshops on life after football, resilience, mindfulness, social media, life skills, finance, personal profile and PFA services were presented to around 100 players from around Australia.  

The Centre of Excellence squad were joined at the camp by players from the Matildas, A-League, W-League, and National Youth League teams.

O'Doherty says he took inspiration from fellow player's career paths.

"Some of the people at the induction started their careers when they were 26-years-old, some of them started when they were 19-years-old," O'Doherty said. 

"Some of these players were late bloomers which gives me confidence that if I don’t get picked up immediately I’ve still got time on my hands.

"The amount of people in the room from different teams around Australia, current and ex A-League players, seeing their perspectives on things especially in the workshop definitely gave us a bit of an insight." 

The AFL's games-coached record holder Mick Malthouse was one of many speakers at the event.

The 63-year-old played 174 AFL games before going on to coach 718, winning premierships with West Coast and Collingwood along the way.

Despite Malthouse's achievements O'Doherty didn't recognise the premiership winning coach, but the defender said his speech was most valuable workshop for him. 

"I’d heard of his name before but didn’t know him at all," O'Doherty said.

"He spoke alot about leadership. It was cool to see his videos coaching and telling his players what to do.

"Just sharing his experience in AFL and showing us what it means to be a leader. It’s not the best player, it’s not the most talented either. Not everyone is a natural leader but now I know what I can do to be a better leader."