With the introduction of the new injury substitute rule for the 2021 season, the welfare of current and past footballers is in the limelight now more than ever before.

The North Melbourne Past Players Association is continuing to tinker and improve on the the way it looks after former players and officials with the introduction of the Shinboners’ Alumni Fund.

1977 Premiership player Steve McCann has been involved with the Past Players Association for almost a decade, and believes the introduction of the fund represents a step in the right direction when it comes to ensuring past player welfare.

“I’m very passionate about the newly formed welfare fund … it’s a terrific new initiative and one I’m very proud to be associated with,” McCann told North Media.

“The Shinboner Alumni Fund will provide much needed medical, mental and financial assistance for those eligible past players and officials who find themselves in need.

“I, like many others of my vintage, am paying the price with my knees, hips and back in particular. The support available through the Past Players Association is worth its weight in gold.”

After a 12-year playing career ending in 1988, McCann believes the Past Players Association plays an important role in keeping people connected, and says the addition of the Shinboners’ Alumni Fund just adds to the list of reasons to join.

“We are working hard to reach out to all past players and officials and urge all to join if at all possible, he said.

“It’s the opportunity to catch up at functions with old teammates that I particularly enjoy … it’s great to have a yarn and a beer with old teammates and officials after, in some cases, many years.”

“It’s important to not to lose the history and identity of the footy club … the sense of belonging is very important to me.

Past Players Association President Anthony Stevens says the club is indebted to its former players and officials, and says the desire to help if required runs throughout the association’s committee.

“We want to help people who’ve been involved with the club from an under 19’s level all the way up to former staff and officials if they need it,” Stevens told North Media.

“The aim is to pull together a fund and then implement a process to try and raise money for our comrades that have come before us.”

The club is seeking past players, who have represented North Melbourne at any level, to be part of the association.

If you are a past player, or know someone that would like to be part of the Association, please fill in the form below and a representative from the club will be in touch with further information. 

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