April 22, 2014
Byron Schammer is known across Western Australia for one thing, as a former Fremantle Dockers football player.
And if you were to ask most Dockers supporters what the former Number 3 has been up to after Aussie Rules, you’d be hard pressed to glean a cogent answer.
To get to the bottom of that question, InkWire caught up with Schammer at Dalkeith Oval, home of the Collegians Amateur Football Club.
No, he wasn’t lost.
The club has appointed Schammer, 28, as League Coach for the 2014 Western Australian Amateur Football League season.
FINAL PLAYING DAYS
Before speaking about life after AFL, Schammer opened up about the trials and tribulations of his final playing days.
“For me [retiring from AFL] was a simple decision,” said Schammer who played 129 AFL games as a Docker.
“I had some injury concerns with my hip surgery … and coupled with that, mentally I was shot after nine years of hard slog.”
He said that in his final game – a loss to the Western Bulldogs in Round 24, 2009 – he could still match it in the AFL.
But he said his motivation had subsided.
“To push yourself to the limit you need a burning desire to compete,” he said.
“I found that competitive spirit that I prided myself on had waned and I knew I had to retire and pursue other things.”
Schammer was excited about a fresh, less physically straining challenge.
After two seasons and a premiership as a player in the West Australian Football League with the Claremont Tigers, Schammer moved his focus to a career in stockbroking.
Throughout his AFL career, Schammer studied the profession, including work experience at Bell Potter Securities, where he is now employed as an investment advisor.
He has also travelled internationally and visits his family in South Australia when he can.
Schammer has also found time, alongside fellow ex-Docker Paul Hasleby, to dip his toe in the waters of social media.
“I am co-founder of a new footy social connectivity platform called myfootyhub which is due to launch this month,” he said.
With so much already on his plate, Schammer has also accepted the head coaching role at the Collegians club.
“I took the job just wanting to see if I enjoyed being a coach,” he said.
“I am hoping to enjoy a different football environment than I am used to and really enjoy football for what it is.”
We caught up with someone who has been very close to Schammer since he joined the club.
Collegians Reserves coach Edward McLarty said that after a disappointing 2013 season he was excited by the appointment of the former Docker.
“A person of Byron’s experience coming to the club has certainly gone a long way towards getting people excited about playing football for Collegians again,” he said.
“I think he’s adapted exceedingly well.
“As a coach, you require the respect of the players if you want them to listen to you and nothing earns respect faster than having played at the highest level.”