AFL players often buy, sell and trade real estate during their sporting careers, but a surprising number of footy stars take this property passion one step further after the final siren.
From real estate agents and developers to entrepreneurs with a live-auction app, past players often continue to kick property goals after their footy careers end.
Tony Shaw, Real Estate Agent
Although one of the smallest players in the AFL, Tony Shaw was known for the unwavering determination that ultimately made his career.
His commitment to success secured him a place in 157 games for the Collingwood Football Club, as well as the role of coach in the late ‘90s.
Shaw purchased and sold both residential and commercial property during his AFL career and started his own company, Flannagan Peressini & Shaw Real Estate.
When reflecting on how his footy days influenced his career, Tony says it taught him “to be honest in your performance appraisal and prepare to a level that you never doubt yourself.”
Darren Jolly, Renovator and TV Star
When you think of AFL players and property the first person likely to come to mind is Darren Jolly.
Jolly, a dual premiership ALF ruckman for both Sydney and Collingwood, appeared with his wife Dea on the 2014 and 2015 seasons of TV’s The Block.
As winners of the 2015 season, they took home the biggest profit in the show’s history – $935,000.
Since the show, Darren and Dea have started their own design and construction company, D+D Home, and starred in a TV mini-series Love Shack, which documented one of their renovations.
In 2015, the couple paid $1.395 million for a rundown Kew home, before going on to sell it for $2.908 million in October the following year – after some controversy surrounding the rebuild.
They also purchased a cottage in Sorrento for $1.88 million in 2017, with the couple sharing their renovation plans on their social media. We look forward to seeing the end result.
Andrew Leoncelli, Project Marketer
Andrew Leoncelli wore the red and blue for eight seasons, playing 146 games for the Demons before joining the Melbourne Football Club as a board member for four years.
During this time, Leoncelli was also involved in a number of apartment developments across Sydney, further cementing his interest in off-the-plan property.
Leoncelli says there are many similarities between AFL football and being a project marketer.
“It can be potentially lucrative for those that work the hardest. That’s ultimately what drew me to this field. Plus, the role has a wonderful diversity of skills and daily pursuits, is highly rewarded, builds teamwork and is a lot of fun,” he says.
Leoncelli’s footy career also taught him that the harder you work and the more effort you put in, the better the results.
Joel Smith, Founder of Gavl
With 221 AFL games behind him, first at St Kilda and then as a running half back at Hawthorn, Joel Smith knows what it means to work as part of a team. He has channelled this learning into a tech-start up, Gavl, with co-founders Leith Donalson and Michael Artup.
The Gavl live auction app allows buyers to browse listings, shortlist properties and watch live auctions wherever they are.
“With Gavl, we just a saw a great opportunity to bring auctions in the 21st century – the notion of turning up out the front of an auction to put your hand up and bid seemed out of step with the way most industries allow people to buy and sell. So allowing people to watch, bid and transact at an auction all from an app seemed an obvious solution to bring to the industry for all stakeholders – buyers, sellers and agents,” Smith says.
Flight Centre co-founder Geoff Harris has invested millions into the app.
When reflecting on how his footy career influences his day to day, Smith says “I think the obvious things like work ethic, discipline, dealing with pressure and working within a team environment have all held me in good stead in my current role. The networking opportunities the sporting world provided has also helped me engage with the variety of walks of life you find in real estate.”
Denis Pagan, Real Estate Agent
A man renowned for his commitment and strong defence during his 120 games for North Melbourne, Denis Pagan is one of the AFL greats.
After hanging around AFL a little longer as coach, Pagan and his son Ryan opened Pagan Real Estate in Melbourne’s inner west.
Pagan’s professionalism has been recognised both on and off the field.
Pagan specialises in inner city apartments, with a number of properties available for private sale.
Tyson Edwards, Real Estate Agent
Regarded as one of the most consistent players of the game, Tyson Edwards made the move from the footy field to the property field after a 15-year AFL career.
This former AFL champion, who played 321 games at the Adelaide Football Club and was the SANFL coach, joined the Harris Real Estate team in Adelaide in 2016.
Edwards is a Henley Beach local, and has plans to open his own agency under the Harris banner within the next three years.