NAB AFL Auskick Ambassador Shane Crawford calls his new role one of the best jobs in football – high praise indeed from the ex-Hawthorn star who boasts a Brownlow Medal and AFL Premiership among his football achievements.
And while Shane says there is no such thing as an average day when it comes to travelling the country in the name of Auskick, he happily agreed to let us shadow him on his recent visit to Brisbane to experience a day in the life of the NAB AFL Auskick Ambassador.
As the father of four sons, Charlie (6), Ben (4) and twin babies Jack and Harry you would expect mornings to be pretty hectic in the Crawford household.
"It is normally very crazy," agrees Shane, "though this morning it was wake up, quick shower, dress, say goodbye to the boys and head to the airport to fly to beautiful sunny Brisbane!
"It’s certainly going to be mayhem when they get older - the twins are only 7 months at the moment but I’ve got a six year old who is in Auskick and a three and a half year old who just loves chasing the football around.
"It’s going to be a lot of fun seeing them develop and hopefully fall in love with AFL."
10:30am Brisbane Airport
As one of the AFL’s most recognised past players Shane attracts quite a bit attention and he’s happily chatting to fans when we collect him from the arrival lounge.
We pry him away and head out into a picture perfect Brisbane day which makes Shane very, very happy ... "It was freezing in Melbourne!"
Plan is to drop Shane off to check in and freshen up before lunch at AFL Queensland headquarters - but no sooner do we leave than he is out the door and off again on a secret mission. ????
As we were coming to the hotel I saw that the Brisbane show was on," Shane later explains.
"So I dropped my bags, jumped in a cab and headed back there to get some show bags for my boys."
And the show bag of choice?
"Trashies show bags ... and some farm animals," said Shane.
1:30pm AFL Queensland Training and Administration Centre
Next stop is the AFL Queensland Training and Administration Centre in Yeronga where there is lunch with AFL Queensland CEO Michael Conlan, an interview with the media team and a stack of footballs and promotional gear to be signed.
2:45pm Off to Auskick!
In the car again and we head to John Paul College for an Auskick session with 75 very happy students.
Excitement is already high when we hit the footy field; though to be fair the students seem way more relaxed than the Auskick coordinators who are well and truly starstruck.
All is going well until the students are told that they can get autographs and photos with Shane after the session which causes one young boy to erupt in tears.
Turns out his grandfather had given him his Hawthorn stubby holder to sign and he was terrified of missing out!
Crisis averted with some reassurance and we are into the session. Shane gives the students a master class in handball before leading them through classic Auskick games including Across the Ocean and Bomb the Teacher.
The footy star is clearly in his element and we ask him what he loves about the Auskick program.
"It’s about participation, getting out there and trying our great sport," says Shane.
"It’s about fun and seeing the smiles on their faces. It’s great for kids to see their parents watching and getting involved as well - they bring out the best in everyone and they make you feel like a kid again; which is nice.
"I really look forward to Saturday Mornings when we get up and we head off to Auskick. Just seeing the kids running around kicking the footy ... having fun. It doesn’t get any better than that."
We drop Shane back at the hotel for a quick change before our final event of the day, the AFL Queensland NAB AFL Auskick Volunteer awards.
6:30pm The Gabba
We arrive at the Gabba members' room which is brimming with Auskick volunteers from across Queensland who are being honoured for the amazing work they do.
Shane entertains the crowd over dinner with stories of football and family life and presents the volunteers with their awards.
Fittingly, Ross Savill, winner of the overall state Auskick volunteer award is a Hawthorn supporter and he's obviously thrilled with the evening’s special guest .
At 10:30pm Shane is still chatting and signing footballs and we get the feeling that if we let him he'd happily keep going all night.
Seventeen hours, 75 smiling Auskickers, 120 happy volunteers, one plane flight and four show bags after he woke up we drop a still-smiling Shane at his hotel.
It’s been a fantastic and busy day and as we wave him off we can’t help but agree, Shane Crawford really does have one of the best jobs in football.