This is certainly one hell of a career pivot, I tell you what. An AFL rookie has abruptly quit football at the top level in order to take up an opportunity as a cast member on the upcoming reboot of The Amazing Race Australia, according to reports.
North Melbourne rookie-listed player Tom Wilkinson reportedly informed club officials of his intention to leave football to take up the spot on the Amazing Race reboot at some point over the past week. He is said to have tried to keep his spot on the North Melbourne playing list, but was aware that would have been an uphill battle given the production schedule.
Incredibly enough, Wilkinson’s partner on the reboot reality competition series is set to be Tyler Roos, the son of AFL Hall of Famer Paul Roos.
The younger Roos currently plays for the Gold Coast-based Southport FC and is a frontrunner for league MVP honours in this year’s NEAFL season. He is said to have explained his sudden departure from footy – with two weeks remaining in a season where Southport will play finals – on the vague excuse of a “work opportunity in the US.”
23-year-old Wilkinson was selected by North Melbourne with the 41st pick in the 2018 rookie draft and had yet to play a senior AFL game.
Filming on the upcoming reboot of The Amazing Race Australia, which is reportedly set to be broadcast on Channel 10 before the end of the year, will begin imminently at an undisclosed location, with cast members flying out on Thursday.
Again, hell of a career pivot this. Working your whole young life to make it to the AFL, finally getting a spot on the list, and tossing it away to run detours and road blocks for a bloke who definitely isn’t Phil Keoghan.
Ah well. Good luck in the race!Image: Getty Images / Luke Hemer