What do footballers read?

NEWS/RECOMMENDATIONS                                                                                                  (Staff, 7-9, 10-12)     

If you think that footy players don’t read, think again!  

The Age recently featured an article in which 16 AFL players talk about what they like to read and why.
Collingwood’s Nathan Brown enjoys Roald Dahl books the most.
 My favourite story in it is The Visitor – it has an intriguing storyline and a great twist at the end. Steve Moneghetti’s biography was also a great read – he went to the same school as I did and I found his upbringing and determination to succeed in elite sport easy to relate to.

What I love about books is that I can imagine the characters’ appearance and the storyline in my mind – it is not all given to you like in a movie. I am quite spontaneous in how I pick books. I do not think you can judge a book by its cover and this analogy goes for footballers not being readers as well – just because we are big and muscly on the outside does not mean that we are not deep and meaningful beings.

Melbourne’s Nathan Bates started reading the Goosebumps series when he was still at school. He said he always enjoyed reading when he was young and still does.

Carlton’s Michael Jamison recently enjoyed reading Beaten by a Blow: A Shearer’s Story by Dennis McIntosh, and said it had a big influence on him.

It is a brutally honest book that destroys any romantic ideas we might have about the shearer. The central character lives in a world that is often tedious, physically testing and full of sacrifice – something footballers can relate to.

Michael says reading

is a great way to relax after training or to help get my mind off football. I sometimes read to my housemate and Carlton teammate Shaun Grigg.

they are really well written books. Fitzsimons’ characters are almost all blokes and typically Australian, which gives the books a lighter side. It gives you an understanding about war and our country. I guess that I tend to prefer books that engage you in the first few chapters.
Sometimes he finds it difficult to find time to read with university studies(agricultural science at Melbourne University) and football taking so much of his time, but he still tries to make the time to read, and he thinks reading on the plane works well.  
Geelong’s Harry Taylor prefers books that tell true stories like autobiographies and recounts of historical events. Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose is his favourite book of all time – a true story about the Easy Company infantry regiment in World War II.

I am very interested and inspired by the actions of these men and to hear their stories was both compelling and impassioning. My favourite quote from Band of Brothers is: ”There is no limit to the good a man can do provided he does not care who gets the credit.”

You can read about the rest of the 16 AFL players who talk about what they enjoy reading in the article A kick out of reading in The Age online.


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