Alex McKinnon has made the difficult decision to step down from his role with the nib Newcastle Knights and pursue other options.
For the past year and a half, the 25-year-old has been a recruitment co-ordinator for the Elite Pathways program at the Club.
Now McKinnon is looking for an opportunity to take on another challenge and will head in a different direction.
“This Club has given me the opportunity to do so much from transitioning to rehab and back to the Knights,” he said.
“It’s a sad day for myself, it’s hard telling people that have helped me so much over the last year and a half but I need to get out of my comfort zone, I can’t put all my eggs in one basket, I need to challenge myself and just go for it.”
McKinnon has indicated he’d like to start to do some public speaking to share his experiences on and off the field.
“I feel like that would be really rewarding and I’d really like to add value to other peoples’ lives and help people,” he explained.
“Some people get comfortable with what they’re doing, I feel like I want to be uncomfortable again, I want to do something different.
“Football is what I’ve always loved, I’ve really enjoyed it, I’ll still be part of it, I can’t help it, I love football but I need to try something else.”
But he won’t be completely stepping away from the Club that he loves, taking on an external role as a scout.
Reflecting on his time working as a Recruitment Co-ordinator for the Knights, McKinnon said it’s been a fulfilling role and he will cherish the time with those he worked alongside.
“I really enjoyed interacting with family and friends, young kids, players that have no other aspiration than to wear the Knights jersey,” he said.
“I loved being around the staff every day and having that sense of belonging.
“I think people in life seek that and I’ve always had that with football.”
He’s given a special mention to a few of his colleagues who have been some of his biggest supporters.
“Dean Noonan and Troy Pezet have probably been the two that have helped me the most,” McKinnon explained.
“Those guys have not only picked me up every morning, they’ve provided so much support for myself.
“Initially I wasn’t comfortable letting people do things for me, getting back into the working environment is so hard to do but they’ve given me the opportunity to do that and I’ll be forever grateful.”