Aussie Rules

Barry Hall - From Aussie Rules Hardman To Mental Health Coach

Barry Hall - From Aussie Rules Hardman To Mental Health Coach

If you're a fan of the AFL, you'll be well aware of Hall of Famer Barry Hall. If you haven't watched the AFL and tuned into the Aussie Rules tests back in the day, it's the big bald man to you.

Barry Hall made a reputation in Australia of being a hard nosed player who took no prisoners. He wasn't the type of man to seek a fight, but when provoked he would be sure to respond.

Hall represented the Aussies in two International Rules Series - 2003 and 2006. The latter he captained, which was one of the more brutal test series in it's history.

Controversy marred those two tests in 2006 - with a brawl erupting in the second test in Croke Park before a whistle was blown. It was also the test were Meath man Graham Geraghty was left unconscious.

Hall didn't find himself on the end of controversy in 2006, but after the starting whistle was blown he was seen to barrel himself into the Irish midfield before and after the ball was thrown-in.

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Despite his tough exterior, Hall had a successful AFL career. Having spent time with St Kilda, the Sydney Swans and Western Bulldogs, he led his club in goalkicking eleven times.

His biggest achievement was captaining Sydney to an AFL Grand Final victory in 2005. He was also named an All-Australian on four separate occasions, including the 2005 championship season.

But where did he garner this reputation for being a hardman? Well, Hall found himself involved in seven separate assaults on the field over his playing career.

In 1997, Hall struck a North Melbourne player by the name of Sam McFarlane in the jaw, shattering it in three places. In 1998, he kneed a Melbourne player in the head and slung a player to the ground in frustration.

In 2002, he received a 5 game suspension for 'clawing' Port Adelaide's Matthew Primus. In 2005, before the Grand Final, he punched St Kilda's Matt Maguire in the stomach and successfully negotiated a reduced ban so he could play in the final.

Later into his career, he was targeted by North Melbourne's Scott Thompson while tying his shoelaces. Hall held Thompson tightly in a headlock for minutes after.

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So, what's he up to now his playing days are over? Well, he joined Fox in Australia as a boundary reporter in 2013. He also appeared on the Australian version of 'I'm a Celebrity.. Get Me Out of Here!' in 2015.

Later on in 2019, Hall revealed his interest in going into boxing, having boxed as an amateur before his footie days. He fought former rugby league man Paul Gallen in November to a majority draw.

Since the pandemic, Hall has become a certified life coach and has been trained to help other men deal with anxiety and stress. He runs a 'Blokes Anxiety Buster' course, which is online and over six weeks.

Hall's mental health course aims to teach men the importance of understanding their feelings, by chatting about how to deal with private battles and applying life changes to cope with them properly.

See Also: A Definitive List of England's Biggest Sporting Heartbreaks

England

Jonathan Byrne

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