Player Watch #10: Ben Cunnington - 2019 Syd Barker Medallist

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SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Don't Get Cut
Aug 21, 2018
15,253
34,987
AFL Club
North Melbourne

DaveyBoy123

Norm Smith Medallist
Jan 26, 2003
5,674
8,797
Melbourne, Australia
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Southampton, San Antonio, Buffalo
Was watching the movie 'Goldstone' on ABC last night and had to do a double-take that Ben10 wasn't the star... Reckon he might have given the below pic to Advanced Hair Studio as the aim. The actor's name is Alex Russell... Came off all laconic and dinky-di Aussie just like Ben too.

1590961457892.png
 

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Sharpy05

Premium Gold
Jun 9, 2010
108
366
Launceston
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Phoenix Suns, Liverpool
EXPERT OPINION
Ben Cunnington reveals fishing obsession and what life will be like for his family after footy
Ben Cunnington is seen and not heard usually, but the North Melbourne star — one of the AFL’s most elusive characters — speaks candidly about his passions and his plans after football.
Ben Cunnington, Sunday Herald Sun

|June 6, 2020 2:00pm

This is outside my comfort zone.

I don’t love attention and struggle with it, so I try to keep it as minimal as possible.
Just the idea of “My Story” being in the Sunday Herald Sun makes me nervous.
I’m uncomfortable talking about footy because I play to earn the respect of teammates and internal recognition means the most to me.
I'm happy playing, let them (the footy media) do the talking.
Anytime I can dodge an interview, I do. I know who I am.
That said the North Melbourne media team, led by Heath O'Loughlin, have been among some of my closest mates at the club.
They look after me and help my journey because the media does eat me up a little bit.
I loved it, growing up on a dairy farm in Princetown, southwest Victoria, reading all the articles I could get my hands on, the stats, watching all the shows, you name it, I saw it.

After the AFL national draft and moving to Melbourne, which was so foreign I hardly knew it existed, I struggled with my name being in print, the scrutiny and expectation.
Get your footy fix on KAYO ahead of live matches returning soon. Watch classic battles from the 60s to today, docos, news and more. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
North Melbourne star Ben Cunnington prefers to keep away from the spotlight. Picture: Getty Images
North Melbourne star Ben Cunnington prefers to keep away from the spotlight. Picture: Getty Images

Former coach Brad Scott helped me out a lot. He sent me back to the VFL a few times and said to simplify it, play footy and enjoy the game I always loved.
It started to work out, I learned to relax and enjoy every session and every game.
Shutting out the football media was part of it. I just do what the coaches tell me.
I could be getting ragged by the media but it's not going to affect me because I live under a rock.
Family. Fishing. Farming. That keeps me busy. I won’t even watch a game for the whole year. The only footy I get is when I train and play, and it works for me.
I really struggled with homesickness the first couple of years in Melbourne, still do, and my career (at the time) not going as I had planned made it worse.
I reverted back to fishing, a passion that started when I was three and a half years-old with the old man, Alan, catching eels and got serious when Pop (Peter Edney) and I would go every weekend chasing bream.
Some school holidays, I remember, we'd go for two weeks straight fishing with Pop.
We fished off beaches for sharks, in rivers and lakes, we had everything at our feet.
As things got hard in Melbourne I turned to fishing to find answers and settle myself so I could escape the city life and concentrate on my footy.
After every training I’d go down to the Mornington Peninsula and sit and fish off piers and whatever else to find that happy place.
Then, after sharing a boat at Mordialloc for a couple of years, I finally got my own in 2014.
Ben Cunnington and wife Belinda show off their fishing haul.
Ben Cunnington and wife Belinda show off their fishing haul.

I remember my family being nervous, thinking the boat might take my attention away from footy, but in hindsight, it enhanced my focus.
I was still trying to find my feet living in Melbourne, and as an AFL player, so fishing was a nice release from the mental side of footy — the training, the pressure and expectation to perform.
I'd go out fishing, get my fish and return to training or game day mentally fresh to play my role.
To this day, fishing is my life.
I can't get enough of it. I struggled a bit with this whole virus thing and not being able to get out on the water.
The addiction has grown over the years and I do get a kick out of sharing my passion with my wife, Belinda, and our two beautiful children, Xavier, 3, and Stella, 18 months.
A few of the North boys come out with me — Jed (Anderson) and Jy (Simpkin) are right into fishing as well. It is nice sometimes just to get away from the club and clear the head.
It is great to see them smiling and just being happy out on the water.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about fishing.
I really do like finesse fishing for bream, trout, perch, those kinds of fish, but I’m addicted to all forms of fishing, from whiting and snapper in the bay, to the tuna and sharks we catch offshore.
The great thing about fishing, like footy, is you can always learn and improve, it’s a challenge and it takes you to all different locations. It’s more than just catching fish.
Cunnington catches a trout.
Cunnington catches a trout.

The only fish that don’t go back are whiting. Belinda and the children love whiting so they don’t go back, unfortunately.
We go all over Victoria, but one of my favourite spots is Glenelg River, Nelson.
Travel? Maybe one day, I’m such a homebody I’ve got no desire to go outside Victoria just yet, still got a bit to tick off here.
I’d love to catch a mako shark. That’s my unicorn at the minute.
I’ve done a couple of trips and haven’t ticked it off, but it will come.
CITY LIFE
If I had the choice, I wouldn’t be here.
But I have settled a lot more since having my own family.
We live in Altona, a nice house with a big backyard and it is on the right side (of the city) to nip home to the country.
Belinda and I were brought up in the country, on dairy farms, in the fresh air, where the world really is your oyster and you make your own fun.
We had the best upbringing and want that for our children. They love it, which is great. Xavier and Stella want to go to the farm as much as they can, run around in the dirt and be free.
Back there they can just be children in nature exploring their imaginations and around animals.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE SACKED PODCAST HERE
OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
Belinda was more the class clown and I was the quiet one, but for some reason it just clicked.
We went to Timboon kinder together and the same high school, Timboon P-12 — there was only 25 of us in the year level.
We started hanging out in school as mates and the rest is history.
We have opposite personalities but similar values, morals and the same passions with the farm and country life.
We do a fair bit of reflection because life does go so quick you do get caught up in it.


FATHERHOOD
Becoming a father was the most special thing that has happened in my life.
To be a father of two beautiful children, I live for them and strive to give them the best upbringing and opportunities they could ask for.
I’m lucky to have had the best role models I could imagine with dad and pop.
They introduced me to two of my biggest passions: fishing and farming.
Dad has been a dairy farmer his whole life, up at 4am every day, on weekends, Christmas Day, you name it. He works pretty hard but he never missed a (junior) footy game.
You play your basketball, do your swimming, do everything and mum and dad would still come to everything, drive us and support us while working hard and putting food on the table.
That said, I don’t want to get into the dairy game.
Too hard for me, I'm more of what you might call a “hobby” beef farmer.
It's the same in theory, but without getting up every day at 4am. Bugger that.
Ben Cunnington goes bush walking with wife Belinda and children Xavier and Stella.
Ben Cunnington goes bush walking with wife Belinda and children Xavier and Stella.

BEN 10
It was definitely a privilege when I got the opportunity to put on Anthony Stevens’ No.10 jumper.
I love it and have tried to uphold the tradition.
It is funny some people say we have a lot in common, but I've known Anthony a fair while and he's definitely not the quiet type.
He loves a yarn and could talk underwater, so I don't know if we've got that in common.
We have a bit to do with each other, we were in partnership on a farm up in Benalla (Shinboner Beef Company) for a few years, until I got my own.
We still catch up when we get the chance, just talk footy, or beef or life or whatever.
Anthony has been a great mentor, someone to lean on not inside the four walls.

LIFE AFTER FOOTY
We want to live off the land.
We bought a farm, 20 minutes’ drive southeast of Warrnambool, about 18 months ago and now try to get down there as much as possible so when we finish footy we can walk straight into it.
It definitely kept us busy enough through this virus thing. Everyone deals with things their own way and we like to go back to the farm because we love it.
We’ve got 68 head of Angus cattle at the minute, half heifers and half steers, just slowly building up into the beef world.
We’re in a fortunate position because we still have a couple years left up here to set up the farm and then hopefully the transition goes smoothly.
I really like working with the animals, you actually get a bond with them. It is more rearing them up and trying to produce the perfect animal that interests me. One day we inspire to have our own stud.
Cunnington feeding the Angus cattle on his family’s dairy farm.
Cunnington feeding the Angus cattle on his family’s dairy farm.

THE CLUB
What a blessing to be drafted by North Melbourne because Fremantle, Sydney, West Coast and Port Adelaide were all around that pick (No.5, 2009 draft).
Before the draft I was bloody nervous about going interstate because I knew, if I had to, my career would be pretty short.
It took me long enough to settle in Melbourne at the time. I’m not sure I would have been able to cope with the homesickness while living interstate.
But North Melbourne supported me a lot, found my strengths and weaknesses and worked towards my individual needs, even to this day.
The transition from Scotty to Rhyce (Shaw) has been first class.
Rhyce understands I need to get away from the game sometimes, do my own thing, but the role reverses on match days and I try to give my best to repay his faith with my performance.
 

DunderHead

Club Legend
Apr 12, 2007
2,227
1,734
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
EXPERT OPINION
Ben Cunnington reveals fishing obsession and what life will be like for his family after footy
Ben Cunnington is seen and not heard usually, but the North Melbourne star — one of the AFL’s most elusive characters — speaks candidly about his passions and his plans after football.
Ben Cunnington, Sunday Herald Sun

|June 6, 2020 2:00pm

This is outside my comfort zone.

I don’t love attention and struggle with it, so I try to keep it as minimal as possible.
Just the idea of “My Story” being in the Sunday Herald Sun makes me nervous.
I’m uncomfortable talking about footy because I play to earn the respect of teammates and internal recognition means the most to me.
I'm happy playing, let them (the footy media) do the talking.
Anytime I can dodge an interview, I do. I know who I am.
That said the North Melbourne media team, led by Heath O'Loughlin, have been among some of my closest mates at the club.
They look after me and help my journey because the media does eat me up a little bit.
I loved it, growing up on a dairy farm in Princetown, southwest Victoria, reading all the articles I could get my hands on, the stats, watching all the shows, you name it, I saw it.

After the AFL national draft and moving to Melbourne, which was so foreign I hardly knew it existed, I struggled with my name being in print, the scrutiny and expectation.
Get your footy fix on KAYO ahead of live matches returning soon. Watch classic battles from the 60s to today, docos, news and more. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
North Melbourne star Ben Cunnington prefers to keep away from the spotlight. Picture: Getty Images
North Melbourne star Ben Cunnington prefers to keep away from the spotlight. Picture: Getty Images

Former coach Brad Scott helped me out a lot. He sent me back to the VFL a few times and said to simplify it, play footy and enjoy the game I always loved.
It started to work out, I learned to relax and enjoy every session and every game.
Shutting out the football media was part of it. I just do what the coaches tell me.
I could be getting ragged by the media but it's not going to affect me because I live under a rock.
Family. Fishing. Farming. That keeps me busy. I won’t even watch a game for the whole year. The only footy I get is when I train and play, and it works for me.
I really struggled with homesickness the first couple of years in Melbourne, still do, and my career (at the time) not going as I had planned made it worse.
I reverted back to fishing, a passion that started when I was three and a half years-old with the old man, Alan, catching eels and got serious when Pop (Peter Edney) and I would go every weekend chasing bream.
Some school holidays, I remember, we'd go for two weeks straight fishing with Pop.
We fished off beaches for sharks, in rivers and lakes, we had everything at our feet.
As things got hard in Melbourne I turned to fishing to find answers and settle myself so I could escape the city life and concentrate on my footy.
After every training I’d go down to the Mornington Peninsula and sit and fish off piers and whatever else to find that happy place.
Then, after sharing a boat at Mordialloc for a couple of years, I finally got my own in 2014.
Ben Cunnington and wife Belinda show off their fishing haul.
Ben Cunnington and wife Belinda show off their fishing haul.

I remember my family being nervous, thinking the boat might take my attention away from footy, but in hindsight, it enhanced my focus.
I was still trying to find my feet living in Melbourne, and as an AFL player, so fishing was a nice release from the mental side of footy — the training, the pressure and expectation to perform.
I'd go out fishing, get my fish and return to training or game day mentally fresh to play my role.
To this day, fishing is my life.
I can't get enough of it. I struggled a bit with this whole virus thing and not being able to get out on the water.
The addiction has grown over the years and I do get a kick out of sharing my passion with my wife, Belinda, and our two beautiful children, Xavier, 3, and Stella, 18 months.
A few of the North boys come out with me — Jed (Anderson) and Jy (Simpkin) are right into fishing as well. It is nice sometimes just to get away from the club and clear the head.
It is great to see them smiling and just being happy out on the water.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about fishing.
I really do like finesse fishing for bream, trout, perch, those kinds of fish, but I’m addicted to all forms of fishing, from whiting and snapper in the bay, to the tuna and sharks we catch offshore.
The great thing about fishing, like footy, is you can always learn and improve, it’s a challenge and it takes you to all different locations. It’s more than just catching fish.
Cunnington catches a trout.
Cunnington catches a trout.

The only fish that don’t go back are whiting. Belinda and the children love whiting so they don’t go back, unfortunately.
We go all over Victoria, but one of my favourite spots is Glenelg River, Nelson.
Travel? Maybe one day, I’m such a homebody I’ve got no desire to go outside Victoria just yet, still got a bit to tick off here.
I’d love to catch a mako shark. That’s my unicorn at the minute.
I’ve done a couple of trips and haven’t ticked it off, but it will come.
CITY LIFE
If I had the choice, I wouldn’t be here.
But I have settled a lot more since having my own family.
We live in Altona, a nice house with a big backyard and it is on the right side (of the city) to nip home to the country.
Belinda and I were brought up in the country, on dairy farms, in the fresh air, where the world really is your oyster and you make your own fun.
We had the best upbringing and want that for our children. They love it, which is great. Xavier and Stella want to go to the farm as much as they can, run around in the dirt and be free.
Back there they can just be children in nature exploring their imaginations and around animals.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE SACKED PODCAST HERE
OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
Belinda was more the class clown and I was the quiet one, but for some reason it just clicked.
We went to Timboon kinder together and the same high school, Timboon P-12 — there was only 25 of us in the year level.
We started hanging out in school as mates and the rest is history.
We have opposite personalities but similar values, morals and the same passions with the farm and country life.
We do a fair bit of reflection because life does go so quick you do get caught up in it.


FATHERHOOD
Becoming a father was the most special thing that has happened in my life.
To be a father of two beautiful children, I live for them and strive to give them the best upbringing and opportunities they could ask for.
I’m lucky to have had the best role models I could imagine with dad and pop.
They introduced me to two of my biggest passions: fishing and farming.
Dad has been a dairy farmer his whole life, up at 4am every day, on weekends, Christmas Day, you name it. He works pretty hard but he never missed a (junior) footy game.
You play your basketball, do your swimming, do everything and mum and dad would still come to everything, drive us and support us while working hard and putting food on the table.
That said, I don’t want to get into the dairy game.
Too hard for me, I'm more of what you might call a “hobby” beef farmer.
It's the same in theory, but without getting up every day at 4am. Bugger that.
Ben Cunnington goes bush walking with wife Belinda and children Xavier and Stella.
Ben Cunnington goes bush walking with wife Belinda and children Xavier and Stella.

BEN 10
It was definitely a privilege when I got the opportunity to put on Anthony Stevens’ No.10 jumper.
I love it and have tried to uphold the tradition.
It is funny some people say we have a lot in common, but I've known Anthony a fair while and he's definitely not the quiet type.
He loves a yarn and could talk underwater, so I don't know if we've got that in common.
We have a bit to do with each other, we were in partnership on a farm up in Benalla (Shinboner Beef Company) for a few years, until I got my own.
We still catch up when we get the chance, just talk footy, or beef or life or whatever.
Anthony has been a great mentor, someone to lean on not inside the four walls.

LIFE AFTER FOOTY
We want to live off the land.
We bought a farm, 20 minutes’ drive southeast of Warrnambool, about 18 months ago and now try to get down there as much as possible so when we finish footy we can walk straight into it.
It definitely kept us busy enough through this virus thing. Everyone deals with things their own way and we like to go back to the farm because we love it.
We’ve got 68 head of Angus cattle at the minute, half heifers and half steers, just slowly building up into the beef world.
We’re in a fortunate position because we still have a couple years left up here to set up the farm and then hopefully the transition goes smoothly.
I really like working with the animals, you actually get a bond with them. It is more rearing them up and trying to produce the perfect animal that interests me. One day we inspire to have our own stud.
Cunnington feeding the Angus cattle on his family’s dairy farm.
Cunnington feeding the Angus cattle on his family’s dairy farm.

THE CLUB
What a blessing to be drafted by North Melbourne because Fremantle, Sydney, West Coast and Port Adelaide were all around that pick (No.5, 2009 draft).
Before the draft I was bloody nervous about going interstate because I knew, if I had to, my career would be pretty short.
It took me long enough to settle in Melbourne at the time. I’m not sure I would have been able to cope with the homesickness while living interstate.
But North Melbourne supported me a lot, found my strengths and weaknesses and worked towards my individual needs, even to this day.
The transition from Scotty to Rhyce (Shaw) has been first class.
Rhyce understands I need to get away from the game sometimes, do my own thing, but the role reverses on match days and I try to give my best to repay his faith with my performance.
Impossible not to like this guy.
 

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shinboner magic

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 17, 2007
11,879
12,208
melb home of the kangas
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
hellas,liverpool,storm,au
EXPERT OPINION
Ben Cunnington reveals fishing obsession and what life will be like for his family after footy
Ben Cunnington is seen and not heard usually, but the North Melbourne star — one of the AFL’s most elusive characters — speaks candidly about his passions and his plans after football.
Ben Cunnington, Sunday Herald Sun

|June 6, 2020 2:00pm

This is outside my comfort zone.

I don’t love attention and struggle with it, so I try to keep it as minimal as possible.
Just the idea of “My Story” being in the Sunday Herald Sun makes me nervous.
I’m uncomfortable talking about footy because I play to earn the respect of teammates and internal recognition means the most to me.
I'm happy playing, let them (the footy media) do the talking.
Anytime I can dodge an interview, I do. I know who I am.
That said the North Melbourne media team, led by Heath O'Loughlin, have been among some of my closest mates at the club.
They look after me and help my journey because the media does eat me up a little bit.
I loved it, growing up on a dairy farm in Princetown, southwest Victoria, reading all the articles I could get my hands on, the stats, watching all the shows, you name it, I saw it.

After the AFL national draft and moving to Melbourne, which was so foreign I hardly knew it existed, I struggled with my name being in print, the scrutiny and expectation.
Get your footy fix on KAYO ahead of live matches returning soon. Watch classic battles from the 60s to today, docos, news and more. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
North Melbourne star Ben Cunnington prefers to keep away from the spotlight. Picture: Getty Images
North Melbourne star Ben Cunnington prefers to keep away from the spotlight. Picture: Getty Images

Former coach Brad Scott helped me out a lot. He sent me back to the VFL a few times and said to simplify it, play footy and enjoy the game I always loved.
It started to work out, I learned to relax and enjoy every session and every game.
Shutting out the football media was part of it. I just do what the coaches tell me.
I could be getting ragged by the media but it's not going to affect me because I live under a rock.
Family. Fishing. Farming. That keeps me busy. I won’t even watch a game for the whole year. The only footy I get is when I train and play, and it works for me.
I really struggled with homesickness the first couple of years in Melbourne, still do, and my career (at the time) not going as I had planned made it worse.
I reverted back to fishing, a passion that started when I was three and a half years-old with the old man, Alan, catching eels and got serious when Pop (Peter Edney) and I would go every weekend chasing bream.
Some school holidays, I remember, we'd go for two weeks straight fishing with Pop.
We fished off beaches for sharks, in rivers and lakes, we had everything at our feet.
As things got hard in Melbourne I turned to fishing to find answers and settle myself so I could escape the city life and concentrate on my footy.
After every training I’d go down to the Mornington Peninsula and sit and fish off piers and whatever else to find that happy place.
Then, after sharing a boat at Mordialloc for a couple of years, I finally got my own in 2014.
Ben Cunnington and wife Belinda show off their fishing haul.
Ben Cunnington and wife Belinda show off their fishing haul.

I remember my family being nervous, thinking the boat might take my attention away from footy, but in hindsight, it enhanced my focus.
I was still trying to find my feet living in Melbourne, and as an AFL player, so fishing was a nice release from the mental side of footy — the training, the pressure and expectation to perform.
I'd go out fishing, get my fish and return to training or game day mentally fresh to play my role.
To this day, fishing is my life.
I can't get enough of it. I struggled a bit with this whole virus thing and not being able to get out on the water.
The addiction has grown over the years and I do get a kick out of sharing my passion with my wife, Belinda, and our two beautiful children, Xavier, 3, and Stella, 18 months.
A few of the North boys come out with me — Jed (Anderson) and Jy (Simpkin) are right into fishing as well. It is nice sometimes just to get away from the club and clear the head.
It is great to see them smiling and just being happy out on the water.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about fishing.
I really do like finesse fishing for bream, trout, perch, those kinds of fish, but I’m addicted to all forms of fishing, from whiting and snapper in the bay, to the tuna and sharks we catch offshore.
The great thing about fishing, like footy, is you can always learn and improve, it’s a challenge and it takes you to all different locations. It’s more than just catching fish.
Cunnington catches a trout.
Cunnington catches a trout.

The only fish that don’t go back are whiting. Belinda and the children love whiting so they don’t go back, unfortunately.
We go all over Victoria, but one of my favourite spots is Glenelg River, Nelson.
Travel? Maybe one day, I’m such a homebody I’ve got no desire to go outside Victoria just yet, still got a bit to tick off here.
I’d love to catch a mako shark. That’s my unicorn at the minute.
I’ve done a couple of trips and haven’t ticked it off, but it will come.
CITY LIFE
If I had the choice, I wouldn’t be here.
But I have settled a lot more since having my own family.
We live in Altona, a nice house with a big backyard and it is on the right side (of the city) to nip home to the country.
Belinda and I were brought up in the country, on dairy farms, in the fresh air, where the world really is your oyster and you make your own fun.
We had the best upbringing and want that for our children. They love it, which is great. Xavier and Stella want to go to the farm as much as they can, run around in the dirt and be free.
Back there they can just be children in nature exploring their imaginations and around animals.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE SACKED PODCAST HERE
OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
Belinda was more the class clown and I was the quiet one, but for some reason it just clicked.
We went to Timboon kinder together and the same high school, Timboon P-12 — there was only 25 of us in the year level.
We started hanging out in school as mates and the rest is history.
We have opposite personalities but similar values, morals and the same passions with the farm and country life.
We do a fair bit of reflection because life does go so quick you do get caught up in it.


FATHERHOOD
Becoming a father was the most special thing that has happened in my life.
To be a father of two beautiful children, I live for them and strive to give them the best upbringing and opportunities they could ask for.
I’m lucky to have had the best role models I could imagine with dad and pop.
They introduced me to two of my biggest passions: fishing and farming.
Dad has been a dairy farmer his whole life, up at 4am every day, on weekends, Christmas Day, you name it. He works pretty hard but he never missed a (junior) footy game.
You play your basketball, do your swimming, do everything and mum and dad would still come to everything, drive us and support us while working hard and putting food on the table.
That said, I don’t want to get into the dairy game.
Too hard for me, I'm more of what you might call a “hobby” beef farmer.
It's the same in theory, but without getting up every day at 4am. Bugger that.
Ben Cunnington goes bush walking with wife Belinda and children Xavier and Stella.
Ben Cunnington goes bush walking with wife Belinda and children Xavier and Stella.

BEN 10
It was definitely a privilege when I got the opportunity to put on Anthony Stevens’ No.10 jumper.
I love it and have tried to uphold the tradition.
It is funny some people say we have a lot in common, but I've known Anthony a fair while and he's definitely not the quiet type.
He loves a yarn and could talk underwater, so I don't know if we've got that in common.
We have a bit to do with each other, we were in partnership on a farm up in Benalla (Shinboner Beef Company) for a few years, until I got my own.
We still catch up when we get the chance, just talk footy, or beef or life or whatever.
Anthony has been a great mentor, someone to lean on not inside the four walls.

LIFE AFTER FOOTY
We want to live off the land.
We bought a farm, 20 minutes’ drive southeast of Warrnambool, about 18 months ago and now try to get down there as much as possible so when we finish footy we can walk straight into it.
It definitely kept us busy enough through this virus thing. Everyone deals with things their own way and we like to go back to the farm because we love it.
We’ve got 68 head of Angus cattle at the minute, half heifers and half steers, just slowly building up into the beef world.
We’re in a fortunate position because we still have a couple years left up here to set up the farm and then hopefully the transition goes smoothly.
I really like working with the animals, you actually get a bond with them. It is more rearing them up and trying to produce the perfect animal that interests me. One day we inspire to have our own stud.
Cunnington feeding the Angus cattle on his family’s dairy farm.
Cunnington feeding the Angus cattle on his family’s dairy farm.

THE CLUB
What a blessing to be drafted by North Melbourne because Fremantle, Sydney, West Coast and Port Adelaide were all around that pick (No.5, 2009 draft).
Before the draft I was bloody nervous about going interstate because I knew, if I had to, my career would be pretty short.
It took me long enough to settle in Melbourne at the time. I’m not sure I would have been able to cope with the homesickness while living interstate.
But North Melbourne supported me a lot, found my strengths and weaknesses and worked towards my individual needs, even to this day.
The transition from Scotty to Rhyce (Shaw) has been first class.
Rhyce understands I need to get away from the game sometimes, do my own thing, but the role reverses on match days and I try to give my best to repay his faith with my performance.
Don’t think he’ll be with us for to many more years
Let’s enjoy him while we have him.
 

DesertRoo

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 11, 2013
6,382
12,364
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Why?

He's about to turn 29 and is rarely injured.

He'll be with us 5 more years at least IMO.
Two things strikes me with that article, he’s setting up for life after footy, so said he’ll be playing a few more years.
and secondly, he seems like he has his own click with the younger boys. He ain’t letting them down.
 

Mixed Results

Club Legend
Nov 17, 2011
1,498
3,505
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I'm off to watch the game now, but I'm going to make the bold prediction that the midfield is going to look stronger without Cunnington.

Happy to have egg on my face if proven wrong, but this is the first real look we've had of a fully fit midfield without Cunnington for a very long time.
 

shimaburnsgrieg

Club Legend
Apr 1, 2017
1,936
4,023
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
New York Yankees
I'm off to watch the game now, but I'm going to make the bold prediction that the midfield is going to look stronger without Cunnington.

Happy to have egg on my face if proven wrong, but this is the first real look we've had of a fully fit midfield without Cunnington for a very long time.
What we lose on the inside we should be able to make up for with defensive pressure and spread which Cunners does not offer.

Unfortunately Sydney have some contested beasts in the middle so this will be interesting to watch.
 

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