Play Nice Rance Retirement

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Jez1974

Team Captain
Oct 8, 2019
565
179
AFL Club
West Coast
I have to agree that there is more to the story Divorce in the JW's is not heard of so something has happened which could be totally un football related. I am sitting on the fence with this and have been from the start.
It will come out in autobiographies later, proving one way or another. It happens in society, so to suspect it doesn't happen in footy circles.... well??
 

Beerfish

Bird noises
Jan 20, 2008
53,053
85,660
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
MotherMaryDarcy
Would be the biggest fairy tale in the history of footy if A Rance makes a comeback.

Imagine what a feel good story it would potentially be?
I'm sure it would be to Bruce McAvaney and I'm sure we'd hear about it many, many times but I'm not sure that would necessarily make it so.. like so much of the absolutely over the top gushy tripe that comes out of his mouth.
 

Raoul Juke

Debutant
Apr 25, 2019
120
272
AFL Club
Richmond
The only scandal is that he and his wife are divorcing and his faith’s beliefs.


Since Rances retirement, in an attempt to understand what motivated him to do this - i took a bit of a deep dive reading previous interviews + articles from him, talking about contracts, retirement, faith and family.

Below is a a collection of articles that really summarize the state of mind not only Alex Rance lived with, but also his wife and family. It a long read, which i know these days is not many people's forte - but it completely squashes any talk of affairs etc. It paints a picture of a man with a deep sense of responsibility and an almost unhealthy obsession to fulfill that responsibility, while that responsibility sat sporadically across many different fields or interest.
A man whose " priorities" seem to rapidly shift from career, to faith, life experiences & family. Reading the pressure he puts on himself is exhausting enough. Being it would require a manic personality that requires a certain amount of chaos to maintain the intensity he clearly uses for fuel. From reading it though, most of all - it made me realize that being married to it would be borderline torture. Alex's "quirky" personality has been well documented, but when you look at the level of pressure he puts on himself in literally every role in life he could be, along with his self-confessed "gung ho" approach to success or faith & his admissions that all this pressure left him a shell of a man at home.... to me, it paints a picture of someone with manic-like behaviour that cannot grasp the importance of having a sustainable work/life/love/ faith'etc balance. He constantly goes from feeling convinced for one path of life, that completely swings the other way within 12 months, to only then swing back the other way 6-12 months later. Following the dates, 2017 seems to have been, mentally, his most stable year - which was also the year we won the flag & he had what most thing was his career year. Outside of that period however, it reads like a person constantly flipping from one decision to another. It's easy to see why the club kept him on the list, however I am not entirely convinced that the decision to do so - or the decision to address it through the media was very helpful.

Whatever internal wiring he has that keeps him fueled enough to maintain this style of life, rarely means your wife, family and inner circle are equally equipped to take this ride with you. I can see clearly how being married to someone constantly in this state would be incredibly difficult & how, in his head, retiring from football was the obvious solution. The question will be if it solves his balance issues, or underline his problem to fully comprehend the value pf "balance.

One thing is clear though, Alex Rance is an incredible human being without a nasty bone in his body - but he is far from being perfect.


Of the articles The 2016 Age article is probably the pick of the bunch on his internal pressures. To those who still like to read over tweet - enjoy.



April 29th 2015



Why Richmond's Alex Rance may walk away

The highly sensitive negotiations between Alex Rance and Richmond will begin this week with the club looking to manage the rare scenario of a star player in his prime seriously considering retirement from the game.

While the prevailing view suggests that the 25-year-old All-Australian defender is unlikely to walk away from a highly lucrative, potentially long-term pay packet, the truth is that Rance has been torn between football and an alternative life.

His manager Tom Petroro was scheduled to meet his client on Wednesday with a view to the pair holding talks with Tigers football boss Daniel Richardson before Saturday's clash with Geelong. This follows the observation by club chief Brendon Gale that the Tigers would need to know Rance's position "sooner rather than later" and that Richmond would make every effort to accommodate the player's needs......


And yet few footballers as talented as Rance have come this close to walking away.
Rance and his wife Georgia are Jehovah's Witnesses, a religion embraced by his family after being introduced by Rance's mother Di during the latter days of father Murray's football career. The former Swan Districts, Footscray and West Coast player who captained the Eagles in 1989, Murray Rance told Fairfax Media he had nothing to add to his son's situation except to say: "I just want to be his dad and support him."

The elder Rances, true to their restorationist Christian religion, regularly spend time helping others learn about the Bible and, in the words of the religion's official raison d'etre, God's Kingdom. They have reportedly stuck true to their desire to remain supportive parents although there is no suggestion they do not want Alex to continue his football career – a career they remain strongly behind.

Nor is there any suggestion that Rance's religion is the sole reason for him to seek with Georgia a different life or that they plan to dedicate their lives to their religion, although clearly their values are influenced by their beliefs. It is true that his wife would support Rance should he choose to quit the AFL
.
Friends describe Rance as a gentle soul of strong and consistent values who stood up to a homophobic supporter during Richmond's recent clash with the Western Bulldogs and whose naivete saw him become the victim of a stalker who harassed the player and his sister Ally and who was later jailed for the crime.
Despite speculation surrounding offers from rival clubs and the lure of free agency given Rance's status in Richmond's playing pecking order, neither of those appear to be influencing the player's current quandary. The view of both club and management appears aligned that Rance's last deal was signed almost three years ago and that his form then was commensurate with the contract. It is a contract the Tigers have been working to override to no avail since late 2014.
Football boss Richardson has repeatedly said he did not believe his star defender was entertaining offers from other clubs, although Rance's decision to put off contract talks led him to believe that something deeper was at play. Certainly Rance had begun to confide his thoughts of retirement to some teammates.

CEO Gale told Channel Nine on Monday night that the club had been surprised but not disappointed after learning via The Footy Show that the player was considering quitting. Gale said that Rance's manager had not mentioned it to the club but that he welcomed the new transparency surrounding the situation.
"He has other things in his life that he values and he's weighing those things up," said Gale. "This [the transparency] is a good thing, we can work around these issues."
The good news for Richmond is that the club will take the first step towards meeting those requirements when it meets Petroro and potentially Rance by Friday. Clearly the club remains determined to convince Rance he will find happiness and success at Tigerland.

The combination of Rance's talent, his state of mind and the need to plan for some major free agency moves come the end of the season make these coming days a watershed negotiation for Richmond's future.




2 months later

30 Jun 2015



Richmond defender Alex Rance signs contract extension for four years with Tigers to end of 2019 season
Richmond defender Alex Rance has ended speculation about his future in the AFL by signing a four-year contract extension with the Tigers.

Rance, 25, was seen as one of the players pivotal to the Tigers' future prospects, with reports that the player's Jehovah's Witness faith might lead him to quit the game.

However the Tigers released a statement on Saturday confirming the defender, who was scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season, had finalised a four-year contract extension.

"Alex is obviously an integral part of our team, and we're thrilled to have him re-commit to the Club for a further four years," said Richmond general manager of football, Dan Richardson.

"He not only provides us with his on-field talents, but the care he has for the club and his team-mates is just as important."

Rance was named in the 2014 All-Australian side at centre half-back


10 Months later

April 15th 2016

Why Alex Rance almost walked away from Richmond



Alex Rance didn't wake up one morning and decide he no longer wanted to play football, for Richmond or any other team. The idea crept up on him, really. It was there when he went home after training, exhausted and wanting only to crash out on the couch. It was there when one of his teammates asked his family how they ever put up with his exuberance and energy, and he realised they rarely got to see that side of him because he poured almost all of it into his work.

Rance hadn't worked out how to make football fit with the things his faith had helped him come to value. He wanted to be the best husband he could, the best brother and the best son. He had ideas; things he wanted to do and places he wanted to go to. He knew something he had never really believed before: that he was a good player, that he belonged, that he had proven himself. If he did walk away, no-one would ever be able to tell him he did it because he knew he wasn't good enough.

So, he decided, he was done. He didn't talk to many people about it, only one or two, because he didn't really need to. As the 2014 season reached its final few weeks, Rance knew what he wanted to do. He was going to play through the last year of his contract, giving Richmond everything he had. Then he was going to retire.

Really? "I'd decided to go. My mind was made up. In my head it was 'yeah, cool, I'm done, I'm happy to finish up'," Rance said. "I went on holidays at the end of the season and I was preparing myself financially for it. I was thinking 'this is fine, it's right, it will be easy'. For me, the main thing was becoming aware that I wanted to give the best I could to my family, and then realising I wasn't doing that. It was an easy fix from there: give footy up, walk away and be done."

Then? "Then I started playing good footy. And the media sort of picked up on what was going on. I remember speaking to my wife and she said: 'You love football, and if you give it up for me you'll get to a point where you'll look at me and hold a grudge and be resentful'. That was where the confusion came in, because whatever I decided to do, I was going to be letting people down. If I'd finished football I would have let my friends down, whereas if I'd thrown myself headlong into football without understanding why, my family would have been affected. I just had to take a step back and assess it and think 'is there a way I can keep playing football, and be financially stable, and give as much to my family as I'm giving to everything else'?"

They were complicated questions, and Rance had other things to think through. He was raised a Jehovah's Witness, believing he had a greater purpose. "Life got in the way for a while," but about six years ago he started to feel as though something was missing. "I felt a need to think that way again, because everything was so shallow," he said. "I'd started basing my life on how much money I was bringing in and how well I was playing, and that was about it, really. I'd play a crap game and think, 'life sucks'. Then I'd play a good game and everything was awesome. It was like, how can you survive like this? There were peaks and troughs all over the place. It made me think about what faith is, and what I should really be basing my happiness on."

Rance looked around, wondering which form of faith was the right one for him. The thing that brought him back to Jehovah's Witness was that it made him feel like a student, able to think critically, ask questions and form his own thoughts. "It's very personal and to be put as an example of a Jehovah's Witness, that's something I get nervous about, because my life's not perfect in any way and the whole point of the religion is that we're pretty much called bible students," he said.

"There's talks that are given on the weekends but it's more about, 'what do you think? What's your understanding? What does this mean to you'? I looked around at different faiths and tried to assess it all because there's so many out there, but this was the one where I felt they were saying: 'We're not going to tell you what you should do, but here's the information we have, so be an adult and decide for yourself what it means to you'. That's what made the difference for me, to be a student rather than just a listener. And it's funny how it all worked out. Once I found that and had a more level approach to life, my football started to fall into place. It was almost like the less I cared, or the more balanced I was, the better I was at it."

Rance's values played a large part in his decision to re-sign. But there were other things he needed to figure out first. For the first time in his career, he felt comfortable and confident, like he had some control over his contract. He knew he would be fully invested in his decision, whether he walked away or stayed, hence the four-year deal he ended up announcing on a Saturday morning last June. Rance didn't need to ask his family what he should do, because he knew all they would tell him was that they loved him and that they trusted him to make up his own mind. "But I did need to know if that was enough," he said, "or whether I could give them more."

There were other things he wanted time to turn his mind to, too. Having tried a carpentry apprenticeship, pilot training and a building course, Rance now works one day a week in a real estate office. He has a social networking app he wants to get going on, and with two partners is setting up a full-time school where boys will be able to finish off their last two years, working towards a VCAL certificate and other diplomas while learning how to be more interested, more rounded athletes. They have a site almost locked away, some teachers already shortlisted and hope to bring in their first group of students next year. One partner works in online delivery and another is taking care of government compliance, while Rance has a long list of ideas in mind for content and curriculum.

"We really want to balance the academic side of things with the athletic side of things. I think there's a real niche there for it," he said. "Most young kids when they come through tend to focus on themselves a lot, and then find it hard because you have to suddenly become part of a team. If you don't feel like you're cared about or find it hard to fully engage in the team aspect of things, then you can feel like you're always failing.

"When I think about it I pretty much come back to, what would I tell my 16-year-old self, with the experience and the knowledge I have now? I had my troubles, not through lack of trying but because I needed to focus, and the thing I want to really drive in the school is that while you've got to have the athletic perspective, the personal perspective and the educational perspective are really important as well. You've got to want to learn and find new ways to keep learning and investing in yourself. It's really about having a mind that's willing to engage, knowing who you are and developing your personality so you can persevere and lead. There's so many different aspects to it."


I'd started basing my life on how much money I was bringing in and how well I was playing... I'd play a crap game and think, 'life sucks'. Then I'd play a good game and everything was awesome. It was like, how can you survive like this?

There was one other thing Rance wanted before he said he would stay: a break. He was given an extra-long one in the off-season, flying out for the US a few days after winning Richmond's best and fairest and coming home to start training in January. He and his wife Georgia saw lots: 11 states, so many cities. Mexico, Cuba, the Caribbean. They took boat trips through canyons in Arizona, walked through cactus fields, watched sport, went to museums, partied in New York City. When Rance needed to go for a run he opened up Google maps, looked for the closest path and headed off. He trained almost every day but training became an addition to his day; it wasn't the whole point of them.
"It was really good. It was exactly what I needed, just a really refreshing time where I could actually think about football in a way that made me excited to come back into it again. Most of the time you're almost counting down the days until pre-season and there's always this cloud: I've got to go for a run, I've got to do weights, I've got to remember the game plan," said Rance, who already has this year's trip half-planned: he and Georgia will go to Europe, though not for as long. "It's funny. I trained really hard when I was over there. I made sure I never missed a session, but because it wasn't on my mind all the time I came back feeling rested and like I was really fresh.
"I flew in pretty much the day before our time trial, and because I hadn't been thinking about it I was just excited to get there and see everyone. Next thing I'm running a time trial, and I almost ran a PB. It was like, what the heck? I've been stressing about this time trial for years and years, and it was mainly just nervous energy. It's such a waste. It really stood out to me, that maybe there is this big mental element to pre-season training that I've underestimated all these years. Who cares if you run one or two seconds slower? I had the best time, and when I came back I was ready to be back and happy to be back."
He still is. His decision was the right one, he knows. But there are things Rance has needed to be mindful of, before and since he signed on. The way he explains it, playing professional football conflicts in two main ways with his religion. He doesn't want to put himself on a pedestal, to make it seem that he believes his values should be listened to more than he believes God's should be listened to. "I have my deficiencies and faults like everyone and I don't want to be a spokesman for my religion," he said. "That's the whole thing, it's about people studying it for themselves and developing their own ways of thinking and interpreting things in their own way." Then there was the highly competitive nature of the game he plays: the trying too hard to win.

That has been the difficult part. Rance is desperately competitive. It's his thing. He's passionate, he's urgent, he doesn't stop. "It is hard. It's been one of the hardest things I've had to grapple with, that it's not at all costs," he said. "It's something that's really had to come from me and from my bible-trained conscience, because at no stage did anyone say to me: 'You can do this but you can't do this'. The way I see it, it's not really the winning that matters, because if you live your life in accordance with the guidance you're given for future hope or a greater purpose then the journey is all about winning, if that makes sense.
"But it's difficult. I don't like to lose and I'm fully aware that my competitiveness is one of my better qualities. I don't even like losing at table tennis. So I'm never going to back down, but I'm going to try and beat my opponent as fairly as I can within the rules. My conscience wouldn't allow me to go further than that. I used to get into a few scuffles and stuff like that, and I've tried to remove myself from that more and more, to cultivate better values and nullify that win-at-all-costs way of thinking, that idea that to be successful you have to step over people without caring, and try to crush them. It's a bit of a work in progress."
Rance isn't sure what he would have done, where he would be or what he would be doing had his contract been up at the end of 2014. Perhaps he really would have walked away. Maybe he would still be travelling. Maybe he would have thought about the same things months earlier than he was forced to, and come to the same conclusions. All he knows now is that he has cleared his mind, worked out what matters most to him and started fitting all the pieces together. He loves playing for Richmond, mucking around with his teammates and working alongside them on the weekend. He never wanted to play for anyone else but is glad he took the time he needed to make the decision he did.
"I care about my family and I care about the boys here because I want them to succeed. But I'm always having ideas and wanting to do things and I was at a point where I was saying: 'I want to do this, I'm going to do this' without ever really thinking about the consequences, and no-one has time for everything," he said. "I feel like it's a universal story in a way. So many people feel trapped in their job and like they don't have anything else. To take a step back and think about what's really important can be hard, and I'm lucky because all I needed was time. I managed to step back and see the big picture, and now that I've done that I can immerse myself again because I know I can be the person I want to be. I'm here because I want to be here. I'm going to be going gung-ho at it."


6 Months after winning 2017 Grand Final



March 4 2018

Rance can't guarantee playing beyond 2019
Tigers vice-captain says he isn't sure what the future holds

RICHMOND star Alex Rance can't guarantee he will play on beyond 2019, with the premiership hero admitting he constantly considers when he should walk away from the game.

Rance nearly retired in 2015 when he was entering his prime before eventually agreeing to a four-year deal that expires at the end of next season.

He said last year that his retirement would be "a bit of an in-the-moment type decision" and he wasn't sure if a premiership would lengthen or shorten his career.

"Physically, I feel like I could play for a long, long time," Rance told News Corp.

"But am I going to play until my legs give out, or am I going to play until I want to pursue something else with as much hunger and passion as I do football?

"It’s a constant thing for me."

Rance was tempted to walk away from the game in 2015 because of travel and other interests including his faith as a Jehovah's Witness.

After re-signing, he went on to win the Tigers' best and fairest and has been named All Australian every year since, including as captain in 2017.

He said he lived his life "off the cuff" and did not have a plan laid out for the rest of his AFL career.

"I don’t want to set myself a 10-year plan and that, ‘You’ve got to do all these things’, because it’s like — where’s the excitement in that?" he said.

"I take every year how it comes and see how it feels, which is probably not what the club wants to hear. I’ve got this year and next year and who knows after that."


-----

Then, 16 months later....


July 12 2019


Richmond star Alex Rance signs contract extension to keep him at club until end of 2021

STAR Richmond defender Alex Rance has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until the end of 2021.
The four-time All-Australian announced the move via a response to a question on Instagram, which was then shared on Twitter.

At the end of the two-year extension, Rance will be 31 years old. The defender is regarded as one of the best in recent years.


“It’s amazing, you talk very much about the connection that we have, and the fun that we have at this football club, and never have I spent a time in my life where I’ve enjoyed work so much,” he said.

“We enjoy each other’s company on and off the field, and to be able to go out and play in front of so many people is a pretty amazing privilege for us to have.”

Rance’s future has always been somewhat murky, as he has openly admitted he “constantly” thinks about walking away from footy.

He reportedly almost quit footy in 2015 after what he described at the time as a “conflict” between the game and his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Richmond GM of football Neil Balme said he was delighted for both the club and Rance.

“Alex is first and foremost a wonderful person and leader at our football club, and an incredibly talented and competitive player too,” Balme said.

“We’re so pleased to have a person of his character at Richmond, who cares so much for his teammates, and is great support for Trent, along with Jack in leading our playing group.”

Rance has played 190 career matches since being taken with Pick 18 in the 2007 national draft.

The West Australian was the All-Australian captain in 2017, won the Tigers' best and fairest award in 2015 and came second for the award in the last two seasons. He is also a 2017 premiership player.


-----

After this, Alex plays only 10 more games and then 18 months later...

December 18th, 2019


Richmond superstar defender Alex Rance announces decision to retire

Alex Rance has sent shockwaves throughout the AFL community after calling him on his illustrious career after 200 games with Richmond.
The AFL world has been left reeling after Richmond’s superstar fullback Alex Rance called time on his career.

Fans, players and commentators have reacted with shock and sadness after the shock announcement was made official on Thursday morning.

Rance missed the majority of the 2019 season after rupturing his ACL in round 1 and was forced to watch on from the sidelines as the Tigers claimed premiership glory.

He informed his teammates of decision on Thursday morning, opting to step away from the game and turn his attention to his family and faith.

“I am someone who will always give their best to what they commit to, and I’m proud of the time, energy and dedication that I’ve put towards my football career,” Rance said in a Richmond statement.

“Right now, I feel I have served my purpose in terms of my on-field performance and cultural impact, and I’m so grateful to the football club for their support and care in allowing me to do that in my own unique way.

“Now I feel is the right time for me to put the same time and energy into other areas of my life that need it, and to prioritise the more important things to me, such as my spiritual growth, my family and friends.”

His career ends after 200 games, being named All-Australian five times and winning a premiership in 2017.

Richmond CEO Brendon Gale paid tribute to Rance by labelling him “one of the greatest players to have pulled on the jumper”.

“Alex, his manager and the Club have been in regular communication about Alex’s future, and while we will miss him dearly at our football club, we understand and respect his need to step away from football to focus on his personal life,” Gale said.

“He leaves this Club a highly-decorated premiership player and it has been a privilege for all us to watch him play. He is clearly one of the greatest players to have pulled on the Richmond jumper.”

“Alex has been the ultimate competitor, an incredible character of the Club, and a fine example of a Richmond Man.

“Although he’s stepping away from playing football, he’ll always be part of Richmond and we wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
 

Raoul Juke

Debutant
Apr 25, 2019
120
272
AFL Club
Richmond
There is one final read i came across i haven't posted above as it not an article, but a VERY detailed post about his faith and life posted on a JW's website forum back in 2014. It is not sourced - but, the details match the timelines i know of & the details, opinions and following comments from other JW's is a interesting peak at the pressure Alex felt from the faith, but also how that pressure made others in the faith feel uncomfortable & that, perhaps, he was being used. Obviously this has to be read in the same vein we read things here - with a dash of salt.

 

Lsta062

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 15, 2014
17,175
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AFL Club
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Good analysis Raoul Juke. Makes the reason behind his ‘sudden’ retirement much clearer. It’s not that sudden after all as he initially did not guarantee playing beyond 2019.
 

rumply

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 11, 2002
26,754
26,600
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Iggles.
Since Rances retirement, in an attempt to understand what motivated him to do this - i took a bit of a deep dive reading previous interviews + articles from him, talking about contracts, retirement, faith and family.

Below is a a collection of articles that really summarize the state of mind not only Alex Rance lived with, but also his wife and family. It a long read, which i know these days is not many people's forte - but it completely squashes any talk of affairs etc. It paints a picture of a man with a deep sense of responsibility and an almost unhealthy obsession to fulfill that responsibility, while that responsibility sat sporadically across many different fields or interest.
A man whose " priorities" seem to rapidly shift from career, to faith, life experiences & family. Reading the pressure he puts on himself is exhausting enough. Being it would require a manic personality that requires a certain amount of chaos to maintain the intensity he clearly uses for fuel. From reading it though, most of all - it made me realize that being married to it would be borderline torture. Alex's "quirky" personality has been well documented, but when you look at the level of pressure he puts on himself in literally every role in life he could be, along with his self-confessed "gung ho" approach to success or faith & his admissions that all this pressure left him a shell of a man at home.... to me, it paints a picture of someone with manic-like behaviour that cannot grasp the importance of having a sustainable work/life/love/ faith'etc balance. He constantly goes from feeling convinced for one path of life, that completely swings the other way within 12 months, to only then swing back the other way 6-12 months later. Following the dates, 2017 seems to have been, mentally, his most stable year - which was also the year we won the flag & he had what most thing was his career year. Outside of that period however, it reads like a person constantly flipping from one decision to another. It's easy to see why the club kept him on the list, however I am not entirely convinced that the decision to do so - or the decision to address it through the media was very helpful.

Whatever internal wiring he has that keeps him fueled enough to maintain this style of life, rarely means your wife, family and inner circle are equally equipped to take this ride with you. I can see clearly how being married to someone constantly in this state would be incredibly difficult & how, in his head, retiring from football was the obvious solution. The question will be if it solves his balance issues, or underline his problem to fully comprehend the value pf "balance.

One thing is clear though, Alex Rance is an incredible human being without a nasty bone in his body - but he is far from being perfect.


Of the articles The 2016 Age article is probably the pick of the bunch on his internal pressures. To those who still like to read over tweet - enjoy.



April 29th 2015



Why Richmond's Alex Rance may walk away

The highly sensitive negotiations between Alex Rance and Richmond will begin this week with the club looking to manage the rare scenario of a star player in his prime seriously considering retirement from the game.

While the prevailing view suggests that the 25-year-old All-Australian defender is unlikely to walk away from a highly lucrative, potentially long-term pay packet, the truth is that Rance has been torn between football and an alternative life.

His manager Tom Petroro was scheduled to meet his client on Wednesday with a view to the pair holding talks with Tigers football boss Daniel Richardson before Saturday's clash with Geelong. This follows the observation by club chief Brendon Gale that the Tigers would need to know Rance's position "sooner rather than later" and that Richmond would make every effort to accommodate the player's needs......


And yet few footballers as talented as Rance have come this close to walking away.
Rance and his wife Georgia are Jehovah's Witnesses, a religion embraced by his family after being introduced by Rance's mother Di during the latter days of father Murray's football career. The former Swan Districts, Footscray and West Coast player who captained the Eagles in 1989, Murray Rance told Fairfax Media he had nothing to add to his son's situation except to say: "I just want to be his dad and support him."

The elder Rances, true to their restorationist Christian religion, regularly spend time helping others learn about the Bible and, in the words of the religion's official raison d'etre, God's Kingdom. They have reportedly stuck true to their desire to remain supportive parents although there is no suggestion they do not want Alex to continue his football career – a career they remain strongly behind.

Nor is there any suggestion that Rance's religion is the sole reason for him to seek with Georgia a different life or that they plan to dedicate their lives to their religion, although clearly their values are influenced by their beliefs. It is true that his wife would support Rance should he choose to quit the AFL
.
Friends describe Rance as a gentle soul of strong and consistent values who stood up to a homophobic supporter during Richmond's recent clash with the Western Bulldogs and whose naivete saw him become the victim of a stalker who harassed the player and his sister Ally and who was later jailed for the crime.
Despite speculation surrounding offers from rival clubs and the lure of free agency given Rance's status in Richmond's playing pecking order, neither of those appear to be influencing the player's current quandary. The view of both club and management appears aligned that Rance's last deal was signed almost three years ago and that his form then was commensurate with the contract. It is a contract the Tigers have been working to override to no avail since late 2014.
Football boss Richardson has repeatedly said he did not believe his star defender was entertaining offers from other clubs, although Rance's decision to put off contract talks led him to believe that something deeper was at play. Certainly Rance had begun to confide his thoughts of retirement to some teammates.

CEO Gale told Channel Nine on Monday night that the club had been surprised but not disappointed after learning via The Footy Show that the player was considering quitting. Gale said that Rance's manager had not mentioned it to the club but that he welcomed the new transparency surrounding the situation.
"He has other things in his life that he values and he's weighing those things up," said Gale. "This [the transparency] is a good thing, we can work around these issues."
The good news for Richmond is that the club will take the first step towards meeting those requirements when it meets Petroro and potentially Rance by Friday. Clearly the club remains determined to convince Rance he will find happiness and success at Tigerland.

The combination of Rance's talent, his state of mind and the need to plan for some major free agency moves come the end of the season make these coming days a watershed negotiation for Richmond's future.




2 months later

30 Jun 2015




Richmond defender Alex Rance signs contract extension for four years with Tigers to end of 2019 season
Richmond defender Alex Rance has ended speculation about his future in the AFL by signing a four-year contract extension with the Tigers.

Rance, 25, was seen as one of the players pivotal to the Tigers' future prospects, with reports that the player's Jehovah's Witness faith might lead him to quit the game.

However the Tigers released a statement on Saturday confirming the defender, who was scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season, had finalised a four-year contract extension.

"Alex is obviously an integral part of our team, and we're thrilled to have him re-commit to the Club for a further four years," said Richmond general manager of football, Dan Richardson.

"He not only provides us with his on-field talents, but the care he has for the club and his team-mates is just as important."

Rance was named in the 2014 All-Australian side at centre half-back


10 Months later

April 15th 2016


Why Alex Rance almost walked away from Richmond



Alex Rance didn't wake up one morning and decide he no longer wanted to play football, for Richmond or any other team. The idea crept up on him, really. It was there when he went home after training, exhausted and wanting only to crash out on the couch. It was there when one of his teammates asked his family how they ever put up with his exuberance and energy, and he realised they rarely got to see that side of him because he poured almost all of it into his work.

Rance hadn't worked out how to make football fit with the things his faith had helped him come to value. He wanted to be the best husband he could, the best brother and the best son. He had ideas; things he wanted to do and places he wanted to go to. He knew something he had never really believed before: that he was a good player, that he belonged, that he had proven himself. If he did walk away, no-one would ever be able to tell him he did it because he knew he wasn't good enough.

So, he decided, he was done. He didn't talk to many people about it, only one or two, because he didn't really need to. As the 2014 season reached its final few weeks, Rance knew what he wanted to do. He was going to play through the last year of his contract, giving Richmond everything he had. Then he was going to retire.

Really? "I'd decided to go. My mind was made up. In my head it was 'yeah, cool, I'm done, I'm happy to finish up'," Rance said. "I went on holidays at the end of the season and I was preparing myself financially for it. I was thinking 'this is fine, it's right, it will be easy'. For me, the main thing was becoming aware that I wanted to give the best I could to my family, and then realising I wasn't doing that. It was an easy fix from there: give footy up, walk away and be done."

Then? "Then I started playing good footy. And the media sort of picked up on what was going on. I remember speaking to my wife and she said: 'You love football, and if you give it up for me you'll get to a point where you'll look at me and hold a grudge and be resentful'. That was where the confusion came in, because whatever I decided to do, I was going to be letting people down. If I'd finished football I would have let my friends down, whereas if I'd thrown myself headlong into football without understanding why, my family would have been affected. I just had to take a step back and assess it and think 'is there a way I can keep playing football, and be financially stable, and give as much to my family as I'm giving to everything else'?"

They were complicated questions, and Rance had other things to think through. He was raised a Jehovah's Witness, believing he had a greater purpose. "Life got in the way for a while," but about six years ago he started to feel as though something was missing. "I felt a need to think that way again, because everything was so shallow," he said. "I'd started basing my life on how much money I was bringing in and how well I was playing, and that was about it, really. I'd play a crap game and think, 'life sucks'. Then I'd play a good game and everything was awesome. It was like, how can you survive like this? There were peaks and troughs all over the place. It made me think about what faith is, and what I should really be basing my happiness on."

Rance looked around, wondering which form of faith was the right one for him. The thing that brought him back to Jehovah's Witness was that it made him feel like a student, able to think critically, ask questions and form his own thoughts. "It's very personal and to be put as an example of a Jehovah's Witness, that's something I get nervous about, because my life's not perfect in any way and the whole point of the religion is that we're pretty much called bible students," he said.

"There's talks that are given on the weekends but it's more about, 'what do you think? What's your understanding? What does this mean to you'? I looked around at different faiths and tried to assess it all because there's so many out there, but this was the one where I felt they were saying: 'We're not going to tell you what you should do, but here's the information we have, so be an adult and decide for yourself what it means to you'. That's what made the difference for me, to be a student rather than just a listener. And it's funny how it all worked out. Once I found that and had a more level approach to life, my football started to fall into place. It was almost like the less I cared, or the more balanced I was, the better I was at it."

Rance's values played a large part in his decision to re-sign. But there were other things he needed to figure out first. For the first time in his career, he felt comfortable and confident, like he had some control over his contract. He knew he would be fully invested in his decision, whether he walked away or stayed, hence the four-year deal he ended up announcing on a Saturday morning last June. Rance didn't need to ask his family what he should do, because he knew all they would tell him was that they loved him and that they trusted him to make up his own mind. "But I did need to know if that was enough," he said, "or whether I could give them more."

There were other things he wanted time to turn his mind to, too. Having tried a carpentry apprenticeship, pilot training and a building course, Rance now works one day a week in a real estate office. He has a social networking app he wants to get going on, and with two partners is setting up a full-time school where boys will be able to finish off their last two years, working towards a VCAL certificate and other diplomas while learning how to be more interested, more rounded athletes. They have a site almost locked away, some teachers already shortlisted and hope to bring in their first group of students next year. One partner works in online delivery and another is taking care of government compliance, while Rance has a long list of ideas in mind for content and curriculum.

"We really want to balance the academic side of things with the athletic side of things. I think there's a real niche there for it," he said. "Most young kids when they come through tend to focus on themselves a lot, and then find it hard because you have to suddenly become part of a team. If you don't feel like you're cared about or find it hard to fully engage in the team aspect of things, then you can feel like you're always failing.

"When I think about it I pretty much come back to, what would I tell my 16-year-old self, with the experience and the knowledge I have now? I had my troubles, not through lack of trying but because I needed to focus, and the thing I want to really drive in the school is that while you've got to have the athletic perspective, the personal perspective and the educational perspective are really important as well. You've got to want to learn and find new ways to keep learning and investing in yourself. It's really about having a mind that's willing to engage, knowing who you are and developing your personality so you can persevere and lead. There's so many different aspects to it."


I'd started basing my life on how much money I was bringing in and how well I was playing... I'd play a crap game and think, 'life sucks'. Then I'd play a good game and everything was awesome. It was like, how can you survive like this?

There was one other thing Rance wanted before he said he would stay: a break. He was given an extra-long one in the off-season, flying out for the US a few days after winning Richmond's best and fairest and coming home to start training in January. He and his wife Georgia saw lots: 11 states, so many cities. Mexico, Cuba, the Caribbean. They took boat trips through canyons in Arizona, walked through cactus fields, watched sport, went to museums, partied in New York City. When Rance needed to go for a run he opened up Google maps, looked for the closest path and headed off. He trained almost every day but training became an addition to his day; it wasn't the whole point of them.
"It was really good. It was exactly what I needed, just a really refreshing time where I could actually think about football in a way that made me excited to come back into it again. Most of the time you're almost counting down the days until pre-season and there's always this cloud: I've got to go for a run, I've got to do weights, I've got to remember the game plan," said Rance, who already has this year's trip half-planned: he and Georgia will go to Europe, though not for as long. "It's funny. I trained really hard when I was over there. I made sure I never missed a session, but because it wasn't on my mind all the time I came back feeling rested and like I was really fresh.
"I flew in pretty much the day before our time trial, and because I hadn't been thinking about it I was just excited to get there and see everyone. Next thing I'm running a time trial, and I almost ran a PB. It was like, what the heck? I've been stressing about this time trial for years and years, and it was mainly just nervous energy. It's such a waste. It really stood out to me, that maybe there is this big mental element to pre-season training that I've underestimated all these years. Who cares if you run one or two seconds slower? I had the best time, and when I came back I was ready to be back and happy to be back."
He still is. His decision was the right one, he knows. But there are things Rance has needed to be mindful of, before and since he signed on. The way he explains it, playing professional football conflicts in two main ways with his religion. He doesn't want to put himself on a pedestal, to make it seem that he believes his values should be listened to more than he believes God's should be listened to. "I have my deficiencies and faults like everyone and I don't want to be a spokesman for my religion," he said. "That's the whole thing, it's about people studying it for themselves and developing their own ways of thinking and interpreting things in their own way." Then there was the highly competitive nature of the game he plays: the trying too hard to win.

That has been the difficult part. Rance is desperately competitive. It's his thing. He's passionate, he's urgent, he doesn't stop. "It is hard. It's been one of the hardest things I've had to grapple with, that it's not at all costs," he said. "It's something that's really had to come from me and from my bible-trained conscience, because at no stage did anyone say to me: 'You can do this but you can't do this'. The way I see it, it's not really the winning that matters, because if you live your life in accordance with the guidance you're given for future hope or a greater purpose then the journey is all about winning, if that makes sense.
"But it's difficult. I don't like to lose and I'm fully aware that my competitiveness is one of my better qualities. I don't even like losing at table tennis. So I'm never going to back down, but I'm going to try and beat my opponent as fairly as I can within the rules. My conscience wouldn't allow me to go further than that. I used to get into a few scuffles and stuff like that, and I've tried to remove myself from that more and more, to cultivate better values and nullify that win-at-all-costs way of thinking, that idea that to be successful you have to step over people without caring, and try to crush them. It's a bit of a work in progress."
Rance isn't sure what he would have done, where he would be or what he would be doing had his contract been up at the end of 2014. Perhaps he really would have walked away. Maybe he would still be travelling. Maybe he would have thought about the same things months earlier than he was forced to, and come to the same conclusions. All he knows now is that he has cleared his mind, worked out what matters most to him and started fitting all the pieces together. He loves playing for Richmond, mucking around with his teammates and working alongside them on the weekend. He never wanted to play for anyone else but is glad he took the time he needed to make the decision he did.
"I care about my family and I care about the boys here because I want them to succeed. But I'm always having ideas and wanting to do things and I was at a point where I was saying: 'I want to do this, I'm going to do this' without ever really thinking about the consequences, and no-one has time for everything," he said. "I feel like it's a universal story in a way. So many people feel trapped in their job and like they don't have anything else. To take a step back and think about what's really important can be hard, and I'm lucky because all I needed was time. I managed to step back and see the big picture, and now that I've done that I can immerse myself again because I know I can be the person I want to be. I'm here because I want to be here. I'm going to be going gung-ho at it."


6 Months after winning 2017 Grand Final


March 4 2018

Rance can't guarantee playing beyond 2019
Tigers vice-captain says he isn't sure what the future holds

RICHMOND star Alex Rance can't guarantee he will play on beyond 2019, with the premiership hero admitting he constantly considers when he should walk away from the game.

Rance nearly retired in 2015 when he was entering his prime before eventually agreeing to a four-year deal that expires at the end of next season.

He said last year that his retirement would be "a bit of an in-the-moment type decision" and he wasn't sure if a premiership would lengthen or shorten his career.

"Physically, I feel like I could play for a long, long time," Rance told News Corp.

"But am I going to play until my legs give out, or am I going to play until I want to pursue something else with as much hunger and passion as I do football?

"It’s a constant thing for me."

Rance was tempted to walk away from the game in 2015 because of travel and other interests including his faith as a Jehovah's Witness.

After re-signing, he went on to win the Tigers' best and fairest and has been named All Australian every year since, including as captain in 2017.

He said he lived his life "off the cuff" and did not have a plan laid out for the rest of his AFL career.

"I don’t want to set myself a 10-year plan and that, ‘You’ve got to do all these things’, because it’s like — where’s the excitement in that?" he said.

"I take every year how it comes and see how it feels, which is probably not what the club wants to hear. I’ve got this year and next year and who knows after that."


-----

Then, 16 months later....


July 12 2019



Richmond star Alex Rance signs contract extension to keep him at club until end of 2021

STAR Richmond defender Alex Rance has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until the end of 2021.
The four-time All-Australian announced the move via a response to a question on Instagram, which was then shared on Twitter.

At the end of the two-year extension, Rance will be 31 years old. The defender is regarded as one of the best in recent years.


“It’s amazing, you talk very much about the connection that we have, and the fun that we have at this football club, and never have I spent a time in my life where I’ve enjoyed work so much,” he said.

“We enjoy each other’s company on and off the field, and to be able to go out and play in front of so many people is a pretty amazing privilege for us to have.”

Rance’s future has always been somewhat murky, as he has openly admitted he “constantly” thinks about walking away from footy.

He reportedly almost quit footy in 2015 after what he described at the time as a “conflict” between the game and his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Richmond GM of football Neil Balme said he was delighted for both the club and Rance.

“Alex is first and foremost a wonderful person and leader at our football club, and an incredibly talented and competitive player too,” Balme said.

“We’re so pleased to have a person of his character at Richmond, who cares so much for his teammates, and is great support for Trent, along with Jack in leading our playing group.”

Rance has played 190 career matches since being taken with Pick 18 in the 2007 national draft.

The West Australian was the All-Australian captain in 2017, won the Tigers' best and fairest award in 2015 and came second for the award in the last two seasons. He is also a 2017 premiership player.


-----

After this, Alex plays only 10 more games and then 18 months later...

December 18th, 2019



Richmond superstar defender Alex Rance announces decision to retire

Alex Rance has sent shockwaves throughout the AFL community after calling him on his illustrious career after 200 games with Richmond.
The AFL world has been left reeling after Richmond’s superstar fullback Alex Rance called time on his career.

Fans, players and commentators have reacted with shock and sadness after the shock announcement was made official on Thursday morning.

Rance missed the majority of the 2019 season after rupturing his ACL in round 1 and was forced to watch on from the sidelines as the Tigers claimed premiership glory.

He informed his teammates of decision on Thursday morning, opting to step away from the game and turn his attention to his family and faith.

“I am someone who will always give their best to what they commit to, and I’m proud of the time, energy and dedication that I’ve put towards my football career,” Rance said in a Richmond statement.

“Right now, I feel I have served my purpose in terms of my on-field performance and cultural impact, and I’m so grateful to the football club for their support and care in allowing me to do that in my own unique way.

“Now I feel is the right time for me to put the same time and energy into other areas of my life that need it, and to prioritise the more important things to me, such as my spiritual growth, my family and friends.”

His career ends after 200 games, being named All-Australian five times and winning a premiership in 2017.

Richmond CEO Brendon Gale paid tribute to Rance by labelling him “one of the greatest players to have pulled on the jumper”.

“Alex, his manager and the Club have been in regular communication about Alex’s future, and while we will miss him dearly at our football club, we understand and respect his need to step away from football to focus on his personal life,” Gale said.

“He leaves this Club a highly-decorated premiership player and it has been a privilege for all us to watch him play. He is clearly one of the greatest players to have pulled on the Richmond jumper.”

“Alex has been the ultimate competitor, an incredible character of the Club, and a fine example of a Richmond Man.

“Although he’s stepping away from playing football, he’ll always be part of Richmond and we wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
Thanks Alex.
 

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the Ziebull

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2010
26,448
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AFL Club
North Melbourne
In hindsight has this backfired him retiring from a money standpoint

Could have not retired been paid 50% of his wage to still be on lockdown, then could have retired at years end same effect 0 games played

Unless he managed to negotiate over 50% of his contract then he still come out on top
 

nick1408

Club Legend
Dec 12, 2010
1,681
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Why?
AFL Club
Richmond
In hindsight has this backfired him retiring from a money standpoint

Could have not retired been paid 50% of his wage to still be on lockdown, then could have retired at years end same effect 0 games played

Unless he managed to negotiate over 50% of his contract then he still come out on top
Maybe, maybe not. Since he is still on Richmond's list it may be the only opportunity that he does actually come out of retirement to help the Tigers depending on how the remaining games are fixtured. Play 5 games to help give Astbury and Grimes a rest when there are like 3 games in 10 days or whatever comes out.
 

the Ziebull

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2010
26,448
24,871
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Maybe, maybe not. Since he is still on Richmond's list it may be the only opportunity that he does actually come out of retirement to help the Tigers depending on how the remaining games are fixtured. Play 5 games to help give Astbury and Grimes a rest when there are like 3 games in 10 days or whatever comes out.
It’s more is he making more money by being retired Vs staying on The list as the net affect is 0 games either way atm now obviously he couldn’t foresee corona etc

But He could have been paid 50% of his salary for sitting at home like he is now

Question is did he negotiate to get over 50% when he retired
 

nick1408

Club Legend
Dec 12, 2010
1,681
1,689
Why?
AFL Club
Richmond
Ahhh, quite the opposite I would have thought.

He hasn't done a pre-season so is even further behind. What's he going to do? Run laps of his backyard to get AFL fit?
Certainly behind but did pre-season up until Christmas. Depends on how fit he stayed on his own I guess
 

Grrr

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 16, 2009
8,217
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mildura
AFL Club
Richmond
Ahhh, quite the opposite I would have thought.

He hasn't done a pre-season so is even further behind. What's he going to do? Run laps of his backyard to get AFL fit?
Some French bloke and another from Sydney, just ran marathons on their balcony's. 3,000 laps the French chap. So it's not out of the question......
 
Last edited:

Ron The Bear

Up yer arse, AFL
Jul 4, 2006
35,845
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Melbourne
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Ahhh, quite the opposite I would have thought.

He hasn't done a pre-season so is even further behind. What's he going to do? Run laps of his backyard to get AFL fit?
Think he was training for triathlons.

It's unlikely his trek in Nepal will be going ahead, so he may as well make a comeback.
 

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