Helping put lives on track

Former GWS Giants player Don Bull with Bailey Banfield (left) and Josh Bennett. Picture: Andrew Ritchied423130
Former GWS Giants player Don Bull with Bailey Banfield (left) and Josh Bennett. Picture: Andrew Ritchied423130

Now aged 22, Don Bull is studying for a law degree and has set up FootyKids ” a mentor program arming athletes with the skills and mindset to play at higher levels.

The Claremont resident has had his fair share of struggles.

‘I wasn’t particularly good at school, I was always a child that got into a bit of trouble mucking around with his mates,’ Mr Bull said.

He moved to Sydney to complete his final years of high school and to get life back on track.

It was in Sydney where Mr Bull began to take football more seriously.

‘It wasn’t a recognised football state, so I found it easier to slot into teams knowing what I knew,’ he said.

In 2010, Greater Western Sydney (GWS) as part of its establishment concessions picked up Mr Bull.

He had coaches like Kevin Sheedy, Alan McConnell, Tom Harley, Paul Kelly and Heath James.

Describing it as an ‘unreal experience’, it was also an experience he wished he had made more of.

‘It was certainly quite intense, but at the same time it was really enjoying,’ Mr Bull said. ‘We got games from our bodies that I never thought was possible in terms of fitness.’

In 2011, the budding footballer was moved on from GWS ” something he said he saw coming.

‘It was certainly disappointing, but I probably wasn’t accustomed or ready for life as an athlete,’ Mr Bull said.

‘I didn’t understand the requirements of what it took to be a footballer and I took shortcuts in training.

‘I came back pretty upset because what was a unique opportunity the AFL presented to young kids, I probably didn’t take full advantage of.’

Mr Bull moved straight back to Perth and kicked off FootyKids to help other budding athletes realise what life is like as a professional athlete.

He recently took members of the WA State under-16s football team to run drills with Coolbinia West-Perth.

Managing to juggling study and football, Mr Bull said hoped to make both a part of his future.

‘It’s such a humbling experience to be able to be a role model for some extremely talented individuals,’ he said. ‘I just hope that’