The Roar
The Roar


Believe it or not, there is a life after footy

21st May, 2015

The criticism Kane Cornes received when he announced he was quitting football to pursue a career in the fire brigade is hard to fathom.

A number of ex-players have been extremely vocal, using their positions in the media to accuse Cornes of being selfish for deserting his club.

Among them were Matthew Lloyd, Tony Shaw and Mark Ricciuto. All three were of the view that Cornes considered himself above his teammates by even entertaining the idea that he should leave mid-season to secure a job elsewhere.

“I think he has let his teammates and Port Adelaide down,” stated Lloyd. “I think there is a premiership to be won. You commit to your team, so you don’t do this at Round 6.”

“You commit, or you don’t commit,” ranted Shaw. “I think this is a selfish attitude.”

“If he chooses to abandon his teammates and his club midway through the season for an opportunity to join the fire brigade or the media it undoes everything that he’s stood for or what he should stand for,” moralised Ricciuto. “It would smack of putting the individual before the team, which is not what good players or clubs are about.”

Even the chief football writer for the Adelaide Advertiser, Michelangelo Rucci, stuck the boot in.

“The message will be Cornes – in a selfish way – put his name in the club’s AFL record books, took a bow for individual glory and then left others to finish the team job of chasing an AFL premiership,” he wrote, obviously put out by the fact that Port are going to allow Cornes to retire after his 300th game this weekend.


That’s pretty tough for a player who has been at the club since almost day dot, played 300 games, won four best and fairest awards, been a premiership player, and a two-time All Australian.

It’s also harsh to criticise a bloke who is trying to secure a viable future for himself and his family post-football, especially when the criticism comes from blokes already in cushy jobs with their financial and vocational futures assured.

If Cornes wants to become a professional fireman, he has to act now. He has no choice as the position can’t be deferred. It’s either take it now or let it lapse.

Should he sacrifice that opportunity because of some misguided loyalty or fear of damaging team spirit? Of course he shouldn’t, especially at 32 years old and with only a handful of games left in him anyway.

Sure he could play out the year, but then what? There is no guarantee that Port Adelaide would keep him on in any capacity afterward, and not every player can – or wants to – move into the media once their playing days are over.

The sporting world is chock full of former participants who are lost souls, either struggling to cope with the concept that they are past their prime or, worse still, with no training or experience to take on another job.

Cornes won’t be one of them.


That he has been pro-active in securing a positive future is something be to applauded, not derided.

This is a good news story if ever there was one, the story of a champion footballer who made good off the field as well as on. It is just a shame that his critics can’t see it.

Perhaps they too need to spend some time outside of the insular world of league football to realise that other lives and options do exist.

It may come as a shock to them, but sometimes football isn’t everything.

Bravo Kane Cornes, you are worth more than all of them put together!