John Hastings can’t speak highly enough of the support he has had in his transition from cricket.
Hastings said preparing for transition was important for all players, no matter what stage of their careers they are in.
“Transition is an interesting one for me, when I first came out of school, I did a PE degree – [although] never thought that would use it!”
“I always got told from older guys in the squad, make sure you’re always upskilling yourself, trying to think about what’s after cricket.
“So, I was very thankful for that mentorship from the older guys.
“[Through my career] I have tried to open myself up to a range of new experiences, and now this has come along."
Speaking after his café Mr. Frankie was 'run of its feet' in its opening week, Hastings reflected on the dedication needed to make the big step into post-cricket life.
Having retired at the beginning of the 2018-19 summer, following some health issues, Hastings spent the summer building the concept for his café, alongside his wife and some family.
After some delays, his cafe opened this week to packed crowds in Frankston South, in Melbourne’s South East.
“It has been a lot of hard work, I have learnt so many lessons over the past eight months,” Hastings said.
“From cutting the tiles, to grouting, to getting my hands dirty, to ordering food, to council setbacks, it has been a very big experience; but we are very, very proud to have something like this in Frankston South.”
“This has been a really big thing in my life, I have been lucky enough to have some really good things happen to me on the cricket field, but to have something like this off the field, it’s a massive achievement.”
Hastings said that it was vital that all players should tap into the resources that are available to them.
“As much as you possibly can, [players should] tap into the ACA’s resources because they have been so good for me,” Hastings said.
“Even if it is just a phone call, or getting education sorted, or drumming up a bit of support for a new business; it is a big family.
“I would say to any young kid coming into the system now, make sure that you are well prepared and setting yourself up for after cricket.”
Player Transition Manager Carla Dziwoki, said that Hastings has been open to many opportunies when it came to this difficult stage of his cricket career.
“John has been fantastic since he retired last year,” Dziwoki said.
"He has stayed connected to the ACA and we’ve had a number of catch ups sharing ideas and discussed how he could utilise ACA support services as he transitions out of the game.
“As well as his café, he spent much of the summer commentating for FoxSports, which is another career path that he is working really hard at.”
Dziwoki highlighted that players are well-supported when they their cricket career ends.
“Players have access to three years of transition support once they leave the game,” Dziwoki said.
"The ACA provide an individualised case managed approach for all players that come off of contract.
"Players find it comforting to know this support is available as they set new goals outside of professional cricket .
“This is really important for players, as they prepare for the next stage of their lives.”