Ladder today announced the establishment of an AFL Player Reference Group that will be responsible for guiding Ladder’s AFL industry engagement and its support of AFL and AFLW players.

The Ladder AFL Player Reference Group will be chaired by Jordan Roughead (Collingwood Football Club) and its inaugural members include, Alicia Eva (GWS Giants), Jackson Hately (GWS Giants), Emma Grant (retired AFLW) and Tom Downie (retired AFL).

Ladder CEO Stephanie De Campo welcomed the inaugural members and said she was pleased that AFL players, male and female, will have greater input into the organisation.

“Ladder was founded by AFL players and they continue to be at the heart of the organisation, supporting as youth mentors, volunteers, staff and board Directors. We are proud to be the official charity of the AFL Players' Association and the formation of a player reference group further strengthens our ties to the playing group  

“Ladder highly values the feedback and opinions of the entire AFL and AFLW playing group and we believe this is an important step in ensuring players are having a meaningful say in the organisation’s direction.

“On behalf of Ladder, I would like to thank the inaugural members for generously donating their time and expertise to support the organisation and the young people in our care,” Ms De Campo said.

Ladder AFL Player Reference Group Chair, Jordan Roughead said that Ladder was committed to providing AFL players with a range of volunteering opportunities that provide important personal and professional development opportunities.

“It’s great to see Ladder providing players with opportunities to develop outside of football and I look forward to my new role as Chair of the Ladder AFL Player Reference Group.

“As a former Ladder mentor, I have witnessed firsthand the life-changing impact that Ladder programs can have,” Mr Roughead said.

Ladder AFL Player Reference Group member, Alicia Eva said she got involved after seeing first-hand the positive impact Ladder can have on young people in the community.

"I believe we as players are in a great position to connect with young people and inspire them to embrace opportunities to develop and grow in confidence. It is also a very rewarding experience for any player involved." Ms Eva said.