ED LANGDON is working two jobs right now. The first is patrolling the wing in a longsleeve jumper rolled up to just below his elbows. The second is packing orders for his side hustle at Lay Day Coffee HQ in South Melbourne.
The 26-year-old has become so good at his day job that he is in the All-Australian conversation after eight rounds, but he is just as passionate about coffee and business since moving back to Melbourne after five years at Fremantle.
Langdon came up with the idea for the instant coffee business during his down time in a Queensland hub in 2020. While others hung around the table tennis table or sat in the spa, he jotted down business plans, scheming and dreaming.
The former Docker sold the idea to his older brother – former Collingwood defender Tom – and by October last year, Lay Day Coffee was up and running, selling dark and light roast coffee in three different sizes.
Since being forced to retire from footy at just 26 in 2020 due to a degenerative knee injury, Tom has escaped Melbourne. First he moved to Byron Bay, but now he is living the dream in a German village not far from the French and Swiss borders.
"Tom is currently living in Germany in this little country town called Vogtsburg drinking beers every night. He works in a food company and he doesn’t speak a word of German," Langdon tells AFL.com.au with a grin after Sunday's win over St Kilda.
"We're running the coffee business together. It's nice, I call him whenever I wake up and he calls me whenever he wakes up. We get in a few convos a day to make sure everything is ticking along nicely with the business.
"Our family has a long history in food and coffee and it was something I always wanted to get into in my own unique way. I approached Tom with this idea in the hub when we were stuck in Queensland. Sat him down and gave him a bit of a business pitch and he loved it.
"We're keeping it relatively small at the moment, just because we're both doing other stuff. It's something I'm really passionate about and something we will grow. Hopefully in a few years, when footy is done I can launch straight into it."
After being held to just nine disposals – his lowest disposal count since round 18, 2018 – by young Hawthorn midfielder Finn Maginness last Saturday night, Langdon responded with a career-high 39 disposals, eight marks, six inside 50s and 566 metres gained to be one of the best players on the ground in Sunday's 38-point win over St Kilda.
"Teams are going to approach their game style differently. Last week, Finn played really well. I thought I still managed to play my role and help the team as much as I could," Langdon said.
"This week, I didn’t get as much attention and managed to get a bit of the ball. That's the idiosyncrasies of footy. As long as we're still winning, my role doesn’t change a hell of a lot, whether I'm getting the ball or not."
Pure wingmen don’t traditionally receive All-Australian acknowledgement. But if Langdon continues his rich vein of form – he is averaging 25.3 disposals and 434.1 metres gained – many will be pushing his case for a blazer when the selectors meet for the final time in September.
"Recognition is always nice, but it's not something I've really thought of to be honest," he said. "It's never really been a role in the All-Australian team. They can talk all they want, but it's still a long way to go only eight rounds in. Hopefully I can keep playing well and be in that conversation."
It has become common knowledge that Langdon almost never comes off the ground in 2022. He has played 100 per cent of all but one game this season – when he played 93 per cent game time against Port Adelaide in round four – providing Melbourne's midfielder with extra rotations at his expense.
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"I feel pretty good, I don't ever feel that gassed. When I was a bit younger, I thought my strength was wasted a little bit rotating a lot," he said.
"If it gives Christian [Petracca] and Clayton [Oliver] and Jack [Viney] a couple more rotations – they are such explosive players and are so damaging – if that means they can play to their best, I'm more than happy to play that role."
Many expected Melbourne to reload for another premiership tilt in 2022 after ending a 57-year drought last September. But not many expected them to move past their first eight opponents with such ease, showing zero signs of a dreaded premiership hangover.
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The Demons have extended their winning streak to 15 consecutive games to be within striking distance of the great sides of this century – Essendon (2000) and Brisbane (2001-02) both won 20 in a row, while St Kilda started 2009 with 19 straight wins.
"It is not something we talk about. We probably talk more about 'Bowser' [Jake Bowey] and the fact he has won 15 games in a row to start his career, which has got to be some sort of record. But other than that, it's not something we mention," Langdon said.
"I honestly think it comes down to playing the Grand Final in Perth. The MCG is the home of footy and all our family and friends were stuck in Melbourne and couldn’t get to the game.
"We rocked up day one of pre-season and were like let's do that in Melbourne this year and give our friends, family and supporters what we experienced in Perth last year."
When Tom was forced to pull the pin on his 89-game career following a horrible 18-month period where his knee simply wouldn’t allow him to cope with the rigours of life in the AFL, Ed was gutted. One minute Tom was an in-demand intercepting defender future with a long future in the game. The next he was done.
"He is probably my greatest mentor. I wanted to play AFL footy because he got drafted. It was really hard for me, and I know it was really hard for him, being such a great player, retiring at 26 when you're at the top of your game. It was really emotionally hard for him," he said.
"I've never met someone with a better perspective on life than my brother. He is on to bigger and better things now. I don’t think he misses footy at all. He did tell me the other day that he still gets a lot of joy watching me play, so that was really nice to hear."
The Langdon brothers are no longer in the AFL together, but they are certainly back in business.