Twelve years in, Mayne man still aiming to improve

The Collingwood veteran is among the AFL's busiest players, juggling commitments in different spheres.

Most public, of course, is Mayne's role as a defensive midfielder for the Magpies, and he'll probably get a specific job in the blockbuster against Richmond at the MCG on Thursday.

Outside the AFL, Mayne has another footy gig as a development coach with TAC Cup under-18 team Sandringham Dragons, and will help out on game days when time permits.

A Level 2 coaching graduate, he believes it's critical that a coach be a good people manager and relationship builder who shows genuine care for his players.

Mayne is following the path of many coaches before him by studying to be a teacher. Ideally, when he hangs up his boots he'll move seamlessly into coaching. A secondary aspiration is to become a PE teacher who oversees a school's football program.

"You've always got to work towards the next moment and the next thing," the 30-year-old told

For the past 11 years, Mayne has also been an ambassador for the Starlight Children's Foundation, a charity close to his heart given he was been born with a cleft palate and underwent multiple operations as a child.

"Seeing sick kids reminds you that footy's not everything. Life can be very cruel sometimes," he said.

The former Docker married fellow West Australian Britt Nicholas in Melbourne just 20 days after the Pies' gutting Grand Final loss to West Coast.

The wedding helped ease the pain of the defeat ever so slightly.

"Last year was a very exciting and fruitful year," said Mayne, who reignited his career with Collingwood last season.

"Not only was it a surreal feeling to be part of such a great club and play consistent footy throughout the year and build those relationships, but I also got the opportunity to have another crack at a Grand Final, knowing all along that I was also going to get married.

"I'm very lucky to have such an amazing wife who supports me through thick and thin and, more than anything, she guides me in the right direction."

A year earlier, after a deflating first season as a Magpie, Mayne was fighting just to stay on the list after playing the opening three games of 2017 before being banished to the VFL. Keen to transform himself from a forward to a midfielder, he spent the off-season working with veteran fitness guru Bohdan Babijczuk and offsider Dom Trimboli.

This time around Mayne continued the regime even while on his two-week honeymoon split between idyllic Byron Bay and Hamilton Island.

"It's in my nature to just keep working hard. My wife lives every bit of it during the season and pushes me to be my best, so we still hit the gym on our honeymoon," he said.

"You can't take much time off or you'll lose all the hard work you've done."

Three years ago Britt persuaded Mayne to embrace a vegan diet, which he says keeps him lean and aids recovery.

Some teammates have followed his lead by giving up dairy, but Mayne adds: "I don't try to preach to anyone. My attitude is, 'If you like what I'm doing, jump on board.'"