Off the pitch: Hyundai A-League player passions with Jack Hingert

Brisbane Roar defender Jack Hingert has built a football career on snapping at the heels of opposition attackers in the Hyundai A-League.

So it should come as no surprise that away from the game, Hingert has a love of dogs that goes above and beyond a normal canine affection.

“We started fostering dogs from the RSPCA about two years ago,” Hingert told www.a-league.com.au.

“For various reasons, there are dogs at the RSPCA that need to go out to a foster home.

“There could be overcrowding, they might not be able to deal very well with the stress of the shelter or they might be coming back from surgery or some sort of injury where they need more care and attention.

“We look after different dogs for a certain amount of time and have them until they get adopted.

“We love doing it - we're up to our twelfth dog that we've fostered. It's a really good cause and when you can see first-hand the difference you make for them, it's very rewarding,” he said.

Part of being good foster parents is providing a happy, safe environment for dogs who often haven’t enjoyed much love and affection in their lives.

Jack Hingert challenges Johan Absalonsen for a header during the Reds' 2-1 win in Round 2.
Jack Hingert challenges Johan Absalonsen for a header during the Reds' 2-1 win in Round 2.

It would appear the Hingert house is a perfect home for neglected pooches.

“When we first get them, some of the dogs are so shy and timid and won't even go near a person because a lot of them have been mistreated,” Hingert explains.

“But within a few days, every dog we've had has transformed and they're all over us and have become very playful and very happy.

“We help them get their real personality out, because they're a lot different in the shelters. All the dogs we foster are on the RSPCA website, saying they're available for adoption from a foster home.

“Potential adopters come around to our place to meet the dogs. At our place the dogs are very comfortable, so people can see their real personalities.”

Hingert - along with team-mate and fellow Roar stalwart Matt McKay - has recently been made an RSPCA ambassador.

And he admits farewelling the dogs he’s fostered can be an emotional time.

“My partner gets teary every time they get adopted,” he said.

“Some of them we've had for three or four months and after that long you get attached to them and they get attached to you as well.

“To be honest, we've been pretty close to adopting some of them ourselves a few times. My partner would adopt all of them if she could - if I was away for a while, I'd come home and there'd be ten dogs at our place!”

Brisbane Roar fans get behind their team.
Brisbane Roar fans get behind their team.

But having a famous fosterer seems to completely over the head of Hingert's canine friends.

“A couple of our dogs don't mind having a look at the TV,” said Hingert, who will this season bring up 150 Hyundai A-League appearances.

“Obviously I've never been there to see what they do if I'm on TV. I'll have to keep an eye out - if I watch a replay and I come up on the screen, I'll have to see if they react!

“Or I'll get my partner to keep an eye out and send me some videos if they react when I'm on,” he laughed.

In the modern era of professional football where achieving life balance is becoming a hot topic, Hingert believes his involvement with the RSPCA helps him achieve that.

“I've got football, but it's always good to have something else,” he said.

“You need something to do away from football too.

“It's great to have something else to do outside of football that helps animals or other people.”