North Melbourne rookie Tom Wilkinson has quit footy with two rounds remaining in the season, reportedly to compete in an Australian reality TV adventure with the son of an AFL coaching legend.
The small forward is believed to have won a slot on TV hit The Amazing Race Australia.
He will fly to a secret location this week to start filming the new series of the show, where he will partner Paul Roos’ son Tyler, according to a report on the AFL website.
Wilkinson, who was recruited in last year’s rookie draft, played his last game for North’s VFL side on Saturday as ankle problems restricted him to just eight matches this year.
In a statement, the club confirmed Wilkinson had stepped away from football “to pursue other interests”.
According to Newscorp, Wilkinson leaves with the club’s blessing.
“Tom has certainly shown an incredible amount of persistence and patience, having to bide his time before getting an opportunity on an AFL list,” Roos football manager Cameron Joyce said.
“He leaves knowing that he achieved his goal to be drafted and knows he left no stone unturned in his pursuit of an AFL career.
“We certainly wish him all the best for whatever comes next,” Joyce added.
Wilkinson is no stranger to travel, after revealing he spent seven months exploring Europe when he missed out on being drafted for the second year in a row.
“I learnt so much during that time and had so many good life experiences, especially from that year travelling,” he told Players Voice.
Former NRL star and TV personality Beau Ryan is also set to feature on the new The Amazing Race series.
The 34-year-old, who played 126 games for West Tigers and Cronulla before going on to star on The NRL Footy Show, took to social media today to post a photo of his backpack and sneakers.
“The Amazing Race Australia is about to get real...” he posted.