Kicking goals Kingsley style

DOWN TO BUSINESS: Kent Kingsley with his laptop computer at home in Geelong.  
Thursday, June 27
Geelong Advertiser

YOU could forgive Kent Kingsley for a little self indulgence when he opens his morning newspaper.

Most people in his shoes would be straight into the sports section to check the AFL goalkicking table.

After all, it is not every year you get someone as anonymous as Geelong's surprise sharpshooter threatening to ambush the prestigious Coleman Medal.

But Kingsley makes a point of avoiding the sports section; the words of his former coach Denis Pagan still ringing in his ears from his time at Arden Street: ``Don't believe your own press, son''.

You will from time to time find Kingsley submerged in the business section of the paper.

The 23-year-old is a computer junkie, who, it seems, has a good head for business.

His mum Jenni is a computer teacher and his brother Ryan a computer programmer. Ryan, and another brother Jason, work for glamour model Elle Macpherson, as her personal assistant and property manager, no less.

So it should come as no surprise that Kingsley's talents don't finish on the football field and computers are involved along the way.

He developed a computer software program in the late 1990s in partnership with like-minded team-mates Adam Simpson and Peter Bell when the three weren't chasing kicks for the Kangaroos.

They were just one week away from committing to list their company, Simpking, on the Australian Stock Exchange when they were bought out by Capix Ltd, a treasury software company which provides on-line broking services.

It was the stuff of corporate high-flyers; hardly the caper of AFL footballers in their spare time.

The word in footy circles was that the boys had made a killing and were worth millions. Kingsley says that is all hype and that most of their windfall was paper profit.

``There were a lot of misconceptions about it, we were far from that (millionaires),'' Kingsley said this week.

``Compared to what we started with and what we finished with, yes (we did make a killing), but it wasn't anything too substantial. A lot of it is still tied up in scrip at the moment.''

The stockmarket ``dotcom'' crash of April, 2002, devalued their scrip worth but it was a much better scenario than if the boys had listed their own fledgling company. They presume they would have been swallowed up in the carnage, even though they weren't a dotcom company.

The whole experience gave the trio an insight into the mechanics of big business and they expect Capix Ltd to eventually list on the market.

If they are richer in mind for the experience, they'll be richer in hand the day it lists.

``The company is still going quite well and obviously with a vested interest, we've got big hopes,'' Kingsley said.

Simpson started the business idea rolling.

``He was a personal trainer at the time and he started up a web portal to advertise for personal trainers in gyms,'' Kingsley explained.

``He got involved in creating another company's website and it moved on from there.

``I am a programmer by trade, so Adam and I started the business and Peter Bell bought in.

``Belly is one of the cleverest, business-minded people I have ever dealt with. He has a legal background and is very smart.''

Kingsley, who studies banking and finance at Monash University, worked with Capix Ltd until early this year when he moved to Geelong to be closer to the football club.

However, he is not sitting idle when it comes to his business affairs.

He and Geelong teammate Steven King have got together to operate a fruit juice franchise at Southbank. It opens next month.

It should come as no surprise that Kingsley puts a high priority on having interests outside of football.

``It is very important because the window of opportunity with footy at the max is 10 or 12 years and you have a lot of life to do something after that,'' he said.

``If you put everything else on hold you come out behind everyone else when you come out of footy.

``Footy gives you a lot of opportunities and you get to meet a lot of people, but this is important, too.

``I play my best footy when I've got a release from it. If I've had a bad game I can go away and forget about it.

``I did go a year where I didn't work and when you play a bad game and come home and all your thoughts are footy, you end up putting more pressure on yourself. As the boys say, you have a committee meeting in your head.

``If you have something else to do you are better off. Mark (Thompson) knows that, he's made sure most of our guys are studying or doing work experience or something they can fall back on after footy.''

If the big Cat continues to kick goals off the field like he is on it, Kent Kingsley the footballer might just be chapter one in the latest version of My Brilliant Career.