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Recruitment of Star Players in the West

State players, playing AFL

Four months ago, Trevor Lovitt, WA State Manager, abandoned the traditional methods of appointing staff and instead targeted the West Australian Football League (WAFL) clubs in order to recruit quality staff members. Lovitt, a former Frankston Football Club assistant coach, contacted Sports Managers from local WAFL clubs to explain the positions available within the Western Australian branch of the company. Lovitt knew from his previous coaching experience that many AFL players who are recruited to the WAFL must relocate interstate. Not only do these players have to settle into a new area and a new football club but also have the daunting task of applying for full time work. Lovitt allowed the Sports Managers to not only approach potential recruitments with playing opportunities but also with a full time job opportunity which would be aware of their sporting commitments as a State League player.

From this recruiting process, Llane Spaanderman from Perth and Ben Fraser from Victoria, were both drafted by Perth Football Club and have both became area sales managers at Adaptalift Hyster. Sean Tighe, a Victorian, playing for South Fremantle Football Club and recruited by Adaptalift Hyster, has recently been promoted from an aftermarket service representive to also become an area sales manager.

Although the three football players work cohesively as a team in their work environment, this is certainly not the case on game day. Recently, team mates Spaanderman and Fraser went head-to-head with work mate Tighe at the Round 16 game, Perth V South Fremantle at Perth’s home ground, Brownes Stadium, Western Australia. Although Perth took the win, with the final score 18.12 (120) to 12.14 (86) Tighe does admit “it’s been really handy to work alongside those two guys and it has helped make it easier for me to settle in and not miss home as much as I did in the earlier part of the season”. On game day the players were also heavily supported by Adaptalift Hyster staff members and their families, who enjoyed cheering on the boys from the sidelines.

Tighe enjoys the workplace culture at Adaptalift Hyster as he says “we’ve got an office full of football lovers” who also support the boys and their football careers. The Western Australian branch has strong ties to the WAFL, Tighe explains “Darren Solomon, our sales manager used to be the football manager at Perth, the boss Trevor is also a Demons supporter while we also have a road mechanic who played with South Fremantle 20 or 30 years ago”. “It’s been great to be a part of that culture so far and at this stage I’ve taken a one-way ticket to Perth. I’ve found a balance between club life and work and have no reason to want to go back to Victoria at this stage” says Tighe. He also acknowledges “opportunities to work in environments like this don’t come around all the time…” This year the program has proved to be a success and Lovitt confirms that “agreements have been made for the recruitment process to be implemented again next season”.

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