Former Fremantle Docker loves farm life

Zach RelphCountryman
Paul Duffield at his family’s Darkan farm.
Camera IconPaul Duffield at his family’s Darkan farm. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Towards the end of Paul Duffield’s AFL career, the former Fremantle Dockers defender admits he found it difficult to muster the motivation to rise out of bed each morning.

Duffield concedes the high-pressure environment of professional sport had caused “a bit of an emotional burnout” after 171 games across 10 seasons with the Dockers.

It led to Duffield, pictured, returning to the family’s Darkan sheep and grain farm, after hanging up the boots in 2015.

Five years on, the ex-dashing defender has opened up about the post-football career move in an honest online video with CSBP Fertilisers, saying it is a decision he does not regret.

A screenshot from CSBP Fertilisers’ video with Paul Duffield.
Camera IconA screenshot from CSBP Fertilisers’ video with Paul Duffield.

“The opportunity to come home to the farm was more about getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city and in so doing, I found what I wanted to do,” he said.

“I had a 10-year AFL career, but towards the end, it was hard to pull the doona off in the morning to go to work everyday ... I was probably a three-time snooze buttoner.

“I have been here five years now and I’ve never set an alarm.

“I wake up every day excited and looking forward to a day of work — I enjoy what I do.”

A screenshot from CSBP Fertilisers’ video with Paul Duffield.
Camera IconA screenshot from CSBP Fertilisers’ video with Paul Duffield. Credit: CSBP Fertilisers

In the four-minute video titled The Decision To Return, posted online by CSBP last Sunday, Duffield praises Darkan’s community spirit.

The farmer recalled how neighbours rallied to help earlier this year after a blaze at the family property.

Duffield, who also coached the Upper Great Southern Football League to a Landmark Country Football Championships division one victory last year, said he was happy to be back in a farming environment.

Former Fremantle Dockers defender Paul Duffield.
Camera IconFormer Fremantle Dockers defender Paul Duffield. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

“I’m really, really happy and content with the decision to come back home,” he said.

“I am really lucky because so many players don’t have something when they finish playing football to really sink their teeth into.

“I was so fortunate that I had something sustainable for me to dive straight into.”

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