Karl Robson – Paris Cockatoos

Growing up in the heart of Western Bulldogs territory in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Williamstown, you could be forgiven for presuming Karl Robson might have travelled a common path on his football journey.

AusKick at a young age, junior football throughout school and then progressing to more competitive levels from there, just as so many of his compatriots do. Karl’s story is quite the contrary.

Growing up playing the round ball game in Australia as the likes of Kewell and Cahill made headlines worldwide, Karl joined an exclusive club of Aussies to first take up the game of Australian Football in Paris.

“I had never played footy competitively until I moved to France, but I have always loved sport… upon arriving in France I discovered the Paris Cockerels and decided to give it a go as a way of meeting both locals and fellow Australian expats,” he said.

Where some players toil for decades without tasting success, Karl wasted little time before experiencing the best of what the sport can offer as a member of the Paris Cockatoos premiership-winning side in 2016, before gracing the hallowed turf of the Stade Jean Bouin (Paris’ oldest rugby stadium) in the 2017 decider.

Paris Cockatoos coach, Steven Trollope, described Karl as “an excellent club man’’ who is ‘’one of the most committed and versatile players in the team. Consistent and reliable with a great training ethic.”

Karl is now a two-time ANZAC Cup representative after being selected for the Australian Spirit side that played in Villers-Bretonneux against his adopted country in 2016 and 2018, and despite being in the opposition camp on those occasions, his commitment to Australian Football in France is clear for all to see.

During the International Cup in Melbourne in 2017, Karl was a regular at all European Crusaders and ‘Les Coqs’ fixtures, and he has furthered his support for the game by umpiring CNFA football for the past two seasons.

Paris Cocks’ President, Fanny Maillet, was also quick to heap praise on Karl’s commitment to Australian Football in France, describing him as ‘’a great teammate and a dedicated member of the Paris Cocks and of the French footy community.’’

“Karl is always here when you need him. He comes to all the club events, he helps set up the ground and he is always supportive of club initiatives such as events with the charity we support; Laurette Fugain,’’ Maillet said.

‘’The Paris Cocks would be very lucky to have him in the office next year!”

Karl’s cross-code talents have made him a popular part of the French footy community.

Is there someone at your club with an outstanding football story that deserves to be recognised? Get in touch, riley.brettell@afleurope.org