AFL star Brodie Grundy opens up trade on ‘grief’ and ‘footy bubble’ bursting

AFL star Brodie Grundy admits he lives in a “footy bubble” in Melbourne, something he knows can unconsciously consume anything.

After the big man’s bombshell swap to the Melbourne Dems last October – despite a contract with Collingwood until 2027 – he knew it was time to burst the bubble and clear his head.

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Morocco is his destination and it gave him the space and time he needed to get back to basics.

“The reason for getting away was really just to end that chapter in my life,” Grundy told

“I think (I wanted) to draw a line in the sand if you will… so that when I come back it’s really clear if I can continue to take my chance in Melbourne.

Brodie Grundy celebrates a goal for Melbourne March 4 during a training match against Richmond at Casey Fields. Credit: Getty Images

“I felt like if I had stayed during that time, with all the noise and all the comments, it might have been a little bit difficult to unpack those emotions and process the trade, so it was good to kind of get away from that remove Melbourne bubble and go.”

The 28-year-old, who was recovering from a knee problem after the Anzac Day game, had a rough year last year only to be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a stress fracture in his ankle weeks before the Magpies- final campaign.

“That was another big reason I was so keen to leave,” Grundy said.

“There were two parts, because of the trade and second, because of the surgery and the mental time you can absorb, you know, just really get consumed by injuries.

“When the trade happened, it was a moment where you don’t really know how you’re feeling because there’s an initial grieving process where you’re acknowledging your time in one place, but on the other hand there’s this tremendous opportunity and a fresh start.

“I can’t say exactly how I felt, but I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my time at Collingwood and then really looking forward to a fresh start.”

Brodie Grundy in action during the game sim against St Kilda in February. Credit: AFL photos via Getty Images

At the time of trading, the commentary was loud and difficult to ignore.

“Morocco was really a no-brainer to freshen up and get motivated to come back into a new season and get the perspective that travel offers.

“I’m always looking for a juxtaposition between my everyday life in Melbourne, being in a football bubble, and what it’s like when I’m gone. I really enjoy this perspective.”

Perspective is something Grundy says he keeps coming back to, something that led him to hike to Everest Base Camp in 2018 and through Peru with Intrepid Travel in 2019.

Now, Grundy says, it’s time to get down to business, and after 177 games in black and white, he’s retraining his brain to bleed blue and red.

“Ten years in a job is a long time for anyone and even though you’re in the same industry, even in Melbourne I was really impressed and overwhelmed by the way they work,” he said.

“I think it’s going to be something really positive in the long run.

“And in terms of my work experience, just changing jobs and being able to adapt and come out of my shell and reinvent myself.

“It was really refreshing to hear new voices, new ideas and new values.”

The Demons are heading into the season as one of the Premiership favorites and one talking point has trumped the rest – the dynamic Melbourne duo now find themselves in Grundy and Max Gawn (let’s call them (let’s call them) (Gawndy).

“Since I’ve come to Melbourne it’s certainly been noticed, it’s obviously a big topic of conversation given our two careers and it’s pretty cool coming together,” he said.

“We’re really excited about what we can achieve as a ruck combo, we’re really ambitious to be a really dangerous and competitive force this year.

“It’s an interesting topic of conversation, like as a fan of the game… When I retire from my role as a player, that’s a pretty cool topic of conversation, so it’s going to be exciting for our fans and our members to see how that plays out.”

“We’re going to work really hard to make that work and we’ve felt internally in our practice games over the past few weeks that there’s no reason why it can’t be a really strong asset to our team.

“The external validation and commentary will continue to happen and it’s always happened around me and my performance. But I think I have an opportunity here in Melbourne to just be a really strong role player.”

Marvel Stadium joins MCG in turf racing for Round 1 of the AFL.

Marvel Stadium joins MCG in turf racing for Round 1 of the AFL. AFL star Brodie Grundy opens up trade on ‘grief’ and ‘footy bubble’ bursting

James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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