Cathay Pacific and Port Adelaide’s Interview Series Part 3

Port Adelaide Football Club’s Travis Boak, Matthew White and Tom Jonas reveal their game day rituals, their teammates’ terrible habits, and plenty more in this exclusive interview!

We sat down with some of Port Adelaide’s top players Travis Boak, Matthew White and Tom Jonas to discuss everything travel, Asia and AFL!


CX: So tell us about your game day ritual…

TJ: I’m pretty casual usually. I try to kill some time by talking to the boys and having a bit of a laugh. Oh, and if I play a good game in one pair of jocks, I always wear them the next week.

MW: There are so many! I go through a very long process. In the morning I go for a bit of a walk, I always get the same food, I pack my bag a certain way, socks go on certain feet at certain times – right before left -, I always kiss my power logo on my jumper before I put it on as a bit of a thank you to Port for bringing me across and giving me the opportunity to play footy. So yeah, there’s quite a bit that goes on!

TB: I’m pretty fussy on game day. So I have to have the same foods most of the time, I listen to the same song before I run out every game and I love to get to the ground two and a half hours before a game to get some physio done. It’s all sort of structured, and I’m a bit funny like that.


CX: Are you a bit superstitious?

TB: Ah yeah I am! Everything’s pretty structured and I wear the same jocks to every game, so yeah I definitely like to keep the same routine!


CX: How do you keep fit when you travel?

TB: Keeping fit when you travel is… it’s not easy you know. Try and get a hotel which has a gym, that’s probably the easiest thing to do. But not too many hotels have good gyms, so you try and find a bit of time to go for runs. Trying to find restaurants that have healthy food is also a tough one. We’re pretty strict in the AFL and in the club to make sure we come back pretty fit, but it’s not always easy.

MW: For me keeping fit when I travel is about getting into the gym at the hotel. I try and make sure there’s a gym in most places I stay. Also if you’re somewhere like Hawaii it’s great to go for a run along the beach in the morning to start the day off on a good note.

TJ: I try and walk everywhere. The airports in Asia are usually pretty good for that! I also like to get out and run around some of the parks and the lakes around.


CX: Which teammate is the worst to travel with & why?

TB: Well, I’ve travelled with my good mate Robbie Gray a fair bit and he’s probably best and worst at the same time. He knows I hate flying and he probably stitches me up a little bit when we’re flying, so he’s probably one of the worst to travel with.

MW: Ahhhh I’d have to say Chad Wingard. *laughs* he’s a superstar but the worst to travel with. He can smell, and he falls asleep at the drop of a hat, so you’ll be sitting on a plane and you want to have a conversation with him and within seconds he’s just he’s out. Every time.

TJ: Jack Hombsch is pretty messy. He’s just very set in his ways, he has to do everything at the exact right time. So if he wants to go to sleep, the lights are off straight away.


CX: Do you have any advice for aspiring young AFL players?

TB: I guess for AFL players in Australia that have already started playing and are trying to get to the top level is that it’s just about enjoying it, having fun and working hard. They’re probably the main things. You never know what can happen if you’re working hard and having fun with something that you do. But for someone overseas or who’s just starting out, just to watch the game, learn the game through watching and also get out there, have a kick and get used to the ball as much as you can. We’ve seen a lot of different cultures and international players play our game, so if you pick up the ball as a player overseas you still never know, you might end up playing in the AFL one day.

MW: For the kids in Australia just to enjoy it. Have fun! That was the best advice I ever had as a kid and I think it shows that when you have fun you can go further with your footy.

For anyone overseas who’s picking up a ball for the first time, probably get used to it *laughs* It’s a weird ball! It’s not shaped well and it bounces funny, so the more you can hold onto the footy, the more you can play with it – kick it to yourself, kick it with your friends – the more you’ll understand it.

TJ: For young Australian kids that play it should be just about having fun, working hard and getting outdoors to try lots of sports – even ones that aren’t AFL!


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