Richmond premiership defender Alex Rance has revealed his inexperience with the education system was the key reason for shutting down his North East, football-focused school.
The five-time All Australian told News Corp this week, after the announcement he would be joining his former coach at the Tigers Damien Hardwick in a leadership role at the Gold Coast Suns, that he wasn't equipped to deal with the education system.
It left students in year 11 scrambling for an alternative to complete their high school studies.
At the time of the closure, his reasoning was teacher shortages and low student numbers.
He told parents of Wangaratta students during an online meeting that he had been considering closing The Academy for 18 months, which left many furious as to why he would enrol a new crop of year 11s knowing he wouldn't see them through year 12.
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"I needed to realise what my strengths are," Rance told News Corp.
"The education system and the education space with all its compliance and red tape was experience I didn't have.
"Having a strong education partner or someone involved in the business that could manage that side was something we identified for a bit of time that we required.
"And so, yeah it will be sad to finish up (The Academy) but I think it's also going to be an opportunity for me to play to my strengths a little bit more which is what I'm doing at the Suns."
Rance confirmed he would fly back to Victoria for The Academy's year 12 graduation ceremony, to be held on November 20, the same night as the AFL Draft.
The Border Mail contacted parents of year 11 students at The Academy in Wangaratta, who wished not to comment.
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