Work Hard, Play Hard: Duncan Elias, the footballer turned familiar face

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Having said that, Elias believes that staying put with Red Card Radio was ultimately the best choice he could have made.

“I learnt a lot there and I moved up the ladder in the media,” he said.

I am really thankful for Sasi as he brought me in and helped me grow

- Duncan Elias

“I wouldn’t have had another opportunity (to follow) because I didn’t have the experience in media and if you didn’t have the experience, you are pretty much useless. So I am really thankful for Sasi as he brought me in and helped me grow.”

After his time with Red Card, Elias moved on to broadcast channel Supersports 360.

“At Supersports, I was more of a broadcast journalist than being a radio presenter and these opportunities came because I had the experience at Red Card,” Elias added.

After his time at Supersports 360, Duncan has now become the regular presenter for football related news and stories on Eleven Sports after Richard Lenton departed back to England.

Elias (first from left) in action for Woodlands. Photo: Supplied/Asyraf Asyfar

Elias may be a presenter now, but the former footballer started off wanting to carve out a career in as a journalist.

“When I was younger, I looked up to writers at The New Paper (TNP). I will always flip to the back page of TNP and read what they wrote,” he said.

I chose to do communications in school as I hoped to write one day

- Duncan Elias

“So, I chose to do communications in school as I hoped to write one day … But I realised I couldn’t put my thoughts into words – and that I was better at speaking and more set for TV and radio than a written journalist.

“My parents said go for it and it was like a blessing in disguise - football might be over but working in radio and TV where English Premier League and S.League was heavily focused, it all worked out.”

Although his family gave him their blessings, there are always those who still tempt him to return to football. And Elias admits that he misses playing the beautiful game.

“Even now people come up to me and say I should go back to football - I don’t know if they are being nice or if they really are genuine," he said. “There is a tinge of nostalgia when I cover football. I miss the sense of camaraderie. I was doing a shoot with a few players and I told them that I wish I could switch roles with them, even just for a week.”

Elias (first from right) at the Eleven Sports studio Photo: Supplied/Eddy Hirono

Now 33, it will be difficult for Elias to make a comeback – especially with the age restrictions imposed on the S.League this year.

But he is just glad that he has a job that he loves – where the perks include interviewing the local footballers and foreign stars such as the likes of Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, whom he grew up watching.

“When I was playing, I didn’t think this is what I would be doing.  I didn’t have a plan. Many footballers don’t have a plan and I was just like that,” Elias said. “I didn’t have a second job, right now players might have second job but my main focus back then was only football.

“I am lucky I had a degree to fall back on and after my career ended I was lucky to have the Red Card opportunity which came in a critical point in my life for me.”

Main Photo: Supplied/Calvin Lee