Sam Reid has had a very busy pre-season.
While many of his teammates took overseas holidays or enjoyed weekends off, the GIANTS veteran has not really stopped.
With a four-month-old at home, Reid has had his fair share of nappies to change.
“It’s going well, very well,” Reid said.
“Obviously, I’m back at training now and I’m not getting up in the middle of the night - Elissa’s doing most of that I don’t envy her at all.
“Elijah is growing up every day, it’s amazing how quickly they grow and all the little changes that happen when you’re away during the day for training.”
Reid’s incredible footballing journey is well documented.
There were multiple injuries at the Western Bulldogs, a change of scenery with a move to the GIANTS, juggling his diabetes, delistings, retirement, coaching, a playing return, a few more delistings and then finally, since 2017, stability.
Now with his 100th game in sight and his first child growing before his eyes, he’s more motivated than ever to keep his career going.
“I’d love to be able to keep playing so he can sort of get used to it and be able to see it and be around a football club,” Reid explains.
“A football club, and all the boys getting around the young fella, is an amazing environment for kids to grow up in.”
Elijah’s arrival on the Monday before the GIANTS’ maiden Grand Final appearance helped Reid move on from the defeat.
While the hurt from the way the GIANTS’ season ended still remains, Reid was able to process the game quickly as he turned from footballer to father.
“It was a massive week, obviously he was born on the Monday morning early without me getting much sleep after the Collingwood game,” Reid said.
“All of a sudden, we get back and he’s a week old and all I want to do is spend time with him and help Elissa out with all that she had gone through.
“I watched the game that Sunday after we had gone out and I watched it straight away with him so I processed that pretty quickly.”
If juggling the commitments of fatherhood and football over the offseason weren’t enough, Reid has also found time to give back to the community.
Reid, alongside teammates Jacob Hopper and Adam Kennedy, headed to the New South Wales South Coast to visit towns ravaged by bushfires and assists residents with the massive clean-up task.
“Kenners and I were having a coffee one day, and we said that we’d like to do it so we spoke to Stephen Doyle (Head of Football Operations) about somewhere we could go that was most affected,” Reid said.
“He put us in touch with Matty Graham who develops the game down there and he sort of said that Conjola was one of the worst hit.
“Some of the families that we helped out had no idea about AFL which was sort of refreshing, so we were talking to them about what the club’s done to help.
“We wanted to do it on our own, we didn’t want any media stuff. It was worse than we had seen on the news or in the papers, it was a real eye-opener.
“It was a good to help out people that had been smashed so bad.”
Reid might be focused on playing long enough for his son to be old enough to watch him play, but he still has an eye on his post-playing career.
The 30-year-old has stepped back into coaching, taking up a role with the GIANTS’ AFL Women’s team as a specialist coach.
“I love the development side of things and obviously I did those things with the club with the couple of years that I had off,” he said.
“That took a backwards step as I focused on trying to build my career again, but I feel like I’m in a position now where I can help out and tap back into that.
“It’s an interest of mine when I do finish up again in hopefully a couple of years.”
For now, Reid wants to continue where he left off in 2019.
He wants to remain feared by his opponents.
“Last year I played every game and my goal at the start of last year was to be a feared opponent for whoever I was going to throughout the year,” Reid said.
“I had some people a bit worried with the role I was playing, and I want to continue that on.
“I’m not happy with the year that we had last year, our last game we lost so I’ve got a bit of drive from that this pre-season.”