Snell injury shows the tragic side of football

Thursday, July 4

JASON Snell's nightmare injury is a reminder of how short a footballer's career can be.

Not every player's career is one of glitz and glamour, huge salaries and fond memories.

Snelly falls into the other bracket; that of players who were robbed of their best footy by injury.

I never played beside him but some of my former teammates who did, say he was just about the best of the crop drafted in 1995.

He was set to be a 10-year, 200-game player and to have the whole thing taken away from you at just 24 is absolutely heartbreaking.

I don't think we can fully imagine what he is going through right now.

Basically, everything he has trained and worked towards over the past eight years has been taken from him.

The majority of public believes footballers are overpaid and have a trouble-free life, being worshipped by supporters and sponsors no end.

Any perception that it is an easy life is totally wrong.

The commitment you have to put in to play at that level is enormous. Nearly everything else in your life gets put on hold. Your family, your work or study, your private life - they all suffer in some way.

Don't get me wrong. Playing league football has been a huge privilege for me and I'm sure many others, yet it is not the rosy world that everyone thinks.

When everything is going well it's a great life, but put yourself in Jason Snell's shoes for a few moments and realise how dreadful the whole thing can be. Think to yourself about never being able to run again. It has implications well beyond football.

In 10 years' time he won't be able to chase his kids in the park. That is tragic.

I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing him well. Hopefully, somewhere along the way he cops a stroke of luck as big as the bad break he is dealing with now.

Good luck, Snelly.