It’s a path most 18-year-old’s have been down before – you finish high school and think you know what you want to do for the rest of your life.
But sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you’d like.
Macleay Valley Rangers captain Chad Applegate admits a five-year stint on the Gold Coast at university was perhaps a little bit of a waste of time.
He had just completed high school and felt school teaching was his desired career path, although it didn’t take long for a lack of motivation to set in.
“I didn’t really go well up there, but I had a lot of fun anyway and was doing primary school teaching,” he said.
“I didn’t really have the motivation to finish it. I thought I wanted to do that, but I was pretty young.”
Towards the end of his university degree, Applegate started to network and called on some favours from home which eventually resulted in a job with a local crane company.
He wasted little time accepting it when the opportunity arose.
“One of my friends got me a job working for Mid Coast Cranes so that’s what I’m doing now and my little brother Sam was playing as well at the time which was good.”
Upon returning to the Macleay, the now 27-year-old returned to the football field after a couple of years sitting on the sidelines.
The sport runs in the family.
“Dad’s always played it and we always watched him and I never really thought about playing anything else,” he said.
“I enjoyed being brought up with older guys who were really good for me in my eyes because they taught me and now I feel like I’m trying to teach the young fellas in the club.”
“That’s always been the case at Rangers.”
The eldest of the brotherly duo admits he’s normally the more mild-mannered of the two.
“Very much so … they know how to get to him,” he laughed.
Applegate said he could only remember being sent from the field twice since first taking up the sport as a six-year-old.
The second of those red cards when was his emotions got the better of him a fortnight ago.
“I’ve got a pretty bad potty mouth but I’ve never really been pulled up on it, but this time it was a big deal so I’ve got to cop it,” he said.
“I learned to try not to swear.”