AFL player returns to family’s Cohuna dairy farm during shutdown

By Dairy News Australia

While his day job has been put on hold because of COVID-19, Collingwood AFL footballer Flynn Appleby has still been hard at work on his family’s Cohuna dairy farm.

Flynn, who is the son of Graham and Megan, has been helping out on the farm in between training with his housemate in Melbourne and fellow AFL footballer and Cohuna local Marty Hore.

‘‘Once they called the season off, I left the apartment in Melbourne, where I live with Marty Hore (who plays for Melbourne) and I have been training with Marty, who lives five minutes up the road, also on a dairy farm,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve also been helping on the farm and doing uni work online, so it has been quite busy, that’s for sure.’’

Flynn said since he had returned to the family farm he had been doing jobs ‘‘Mum and Dad don’t want to do’’ and enjoying the perks of farm life.

‘‘I’ve been doing a fair bit of milking and luckily we start a bit later at seven or 7.30 (am) and then start milking about five in the afternoon,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s been enjoyable being able to spend that time with Dad as I haven’t been able to do it for a while. ‘‘Overall it’s been good to get out of the city.

‘‘I’m enjoying the freedom and considering the circumstance, it’s a pretty good outcome. ‘‘I’m pretty lucky to be out on the farm.’’

On a recent episode of the Collingwood Football Club’s Black and White Show, players were asked who they would hate to be isolated with.

Flynn’s teammate Jordan Roughead’s response was: ‘‘I’m not going to respond to your question . . . I’m going to go with who I’d most want to be stuck with in isolation and I’m going to throw up Flynny Appleby, up in the farm at Cohuna, (he) would always have fresh milk and that’s a necessity at a time like this’’.

Flynn said many of his teammates wished they could join him on the farm.

‘‘There are not many farmers at the club,’’ he said. ‘‘Many are Melbourne based and many would be wanting to come up and get their hands dirty.’’

While in isolation, Flynn has been ‘‘catching up’’ with his coaches twice a week via Zoom and the extra time has allowed Flynn to put a greater focus on his part-time podiatry studies as he hopes to get into the world of footwear development down the track.

The Applebys are milking 120 cows on their 161.9 ha property, which they turned into an organic operation a couple of years ago.