Is a full time pro football career worth it?


Is a full time pro football career worth it?

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Decentric
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On ABC last night was a programme where it showed established professional sports stars suffering depression after retiring.

Most reading this know how Lucas Neill has publicly disappeared after losing some vast amount of money in poor investments.

A mate of mine has a lost book that has many League One players in England question whether a football career has been worth it, earning a fraction of what EPL players earn.

One tier down from HAL, the NPL offers pretty serious football whilst one can have a simultaneous career. I know tradespeople, doctors and teachers all playing NPL at the highest level below the HAL. I argued the merits on a state based football forum on the advantages of sustaining a career whilst playing football at a pretty high level in the NPL.

Benjamin, a current player agent/scout, has elucidated  current Victorian NPL players have refused to accept one year contracts for HAL clubs.

I think South Melbourne's John Lukic is  a teacher. In Tasmania this is replicated by Hobart Olympic's Shay Hickey who is also  a teacher, but unlike Lukic, to my knowledge has never received a HAL offer. Paul Bremner of Clarence United is also a doctor. I also have kids doing the same who are  working professionals but play top tier NPL football.

Brett Emerton is kept busy in retirement  by managing a lot of his housing investment properties. 

What many sportspeople including swimmers, Stephanie Rice, and another triple Olympian, whose name escapes me and has had a long history off unemployment,  an Aboriginal AFL player (who is currently  not even playing state league football, but suburban AFL),  cricketer Nathan Bracken,  basketball great Lauren Jackson, and the great George Best, all state is they they miss the  huge crowds, the constant  coaching attention, media attention, fan adulation, the moment they retire - often forced by injury.

From so much exercise it creates endorphins that counteract stress. Retirement often transfers to less physical activity.

Also, Cricket Australia and Swimming Australia have done nothing to assist former athletes according to the aforementioned.

What would former HAL regular, Jobe Wheelhouse, feel after being bizarrely sacked from the Jets and perplexingly was never offered another HAL contract? He went straight into the anonymity of NSW NPL football.

There are only a handful of jobs available for media pundits and coaches after players retire. Nathan Bracken is now a labourer in his father in law's asphalting business. A few years ago he was adulated as the number one One Day bowler in world cricket.

Current NPL players would never have this come down as they play in front of smallish crowds and have the ongoing  grind of juggling career and football. The moment they retire they are prepared for life after football. Moreover, they have more financial stability than current pro footballers.

Thoughts?
Edited
6 Months Ago by Decentric
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As a corollary to the the previous post I'll add a  number  of former pro players who live close to me and I'm acquainted with.

 *One was a  player who played for Newcastle in the NSL. He works as a cook providing gourmet food for a local top notch delicatessen. The equal best  player I've played with and against in coaching  courses. He has been an active youth coach. Very modest guy. 

*Another played  for Adelaide City in the NSL. He is a current coach, earning little money from it, and doubles up as a current serving cop. Plus he was in the army. Best Tassie player I've seen play local senior football.

*One guy played for Bristol Rovers. He is an an entrepreneur and seems despondent he has not earned the money he could've done post football after having many managerial and CEO positions. He has had no active role in football since  retiring. Very modest bloke about his football career.

*One bloke played for FC Koln and Egypt. He  has an assortment  of jobs and has been a NPL senior coach.

*Another played for Olympiakos and Egypt. He has a number of unpaid coaching roles up to senior assistant at NPL level. He has varied employment usually in security or operating cafes. Usually a very happy, cheerful bloke.

 *One player played for Dumbarton in the SPL. He is now an optometrist and has a lucrative practice and is a very sought after practitioner. He seems very happy with life. He has had no active role in football since retiring. Very modest about his football career.

*Another was a NSL player with a Sydney club. He nearly got big money move to Celtic.  He retired prematurely as the wages were not good enough in the NSL and moved to the Middle E working in refrigeration and AC. He ended up as a state  FFA TD for a while. Now he is conducting  walking tours. Equal best player I've played with and against in coaching courses.

*One player played for South Melb in the NSL. He  is now a teacher who is working  well into his sixties - which is quite a tough gig at his age. Perplexingly has never coached juniors and youth after feeling burnt at reserve NSL level coach. Has played late in his career, in his sixties, and seems very happy teaching. Huge ego!

There are almost two clear schools. Some never say anything about their former careers, seeming sad it only lasted for a short time of their life. Then reality hit when they retired. Others love telling people how good they were!

I've co - coached with a number of these guys. I've always assumed the lead instructional role because of my teaching background, whilst they've constantly fine tuned.

On average they seem less happy and less contented than my general group of friends outside football. Is it because they had such an exciting start to adulthood that was never the same again?
Edited
6 Months Ago by Decentric
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All these guys "live close to you"??

What's your suburb called, Soccercity?
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As u didn't follow football as youngster you wouldn't have experienced every boys dream.
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So who was the Tassie player who "played for Adelaide City in the NSL"??
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A few other former players:

* Peter Savill played for Leeds United under Brian Clough. He has had a lucrative painting business and has kept busy in Tassie football, playing whilst he could, and has been and still is an assistant/head coach in the NPL and previous  regional leagues. He seems to be a pretty happy fellow.

* Another has played for Sporting Lisbon Youth and was distracted by the usual when was young, wasting a football career. He has ended up with two degrees and and a masters and works for a migrant group. Seems pretty happy with his lot. Possibly the most skilful of all these aforementioned players.

Both these guys have been pretty successful in careers after football.

* A former Arsenal regular, Gordon Nutt, retired to Tassie. He took a coaching clinic for my kids when they were young, but operated outside the jurisdiction of Soccer Tasmania, as it was then known. He has died recently and was pretty old. A very funny and happy guy. I'm not sure what he did to earn a crust?



Edited
6 Months Ago by Decentric
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I was reading an article in the English  Daily Mirror about a number of footballers who have really struggled to adapt to life after EPL football.

Two who have changed careers are:

* One who played with Blackburn Rovers for his entire career. After football he became a building tradesperson, but has moved to another town away from Blackburn where he was less well known to enjoy anonymity.  I cannot remember his name.

* Another was one who became a lawyer, post EPL football. I cannot remember his name either.


The English Telegraph also reported :

* Spurs' Espe Baardsen  is a macro analyst at a financial institution.

* Sunderland and Derby County's   Marco Gabbiadini runs a guest house in York.

* Newcastle's Philipe Albert runs a fruit and vegetable business in Belgium.

* Sunderland's Kevin Kyle works as a storeman in the Shetland Isles.
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6 Months Ago by Decentric
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localstar - 5 May 2017 9:21 PM
All these guys "live close to you"??

What's your suburb called, Soccercity?

All in Hobart and hinterland, or Launceston.

Many visitors think Tasmania has the best standard of living in the world. Hence, so many retire to the state.
Edited
6 Months Ago by Decentric
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dirkvanadidas - 8 May 2017 2:41 AM
As u didn't follow football as youngster you wouldn't have experienced every boys dream.

I did - from about 7 years old in England.
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localstar - 8 May 2017 8:54 AM
So who was the Tassie player who "played for Adelaide City in the NSL"??

Tut tut.

I thought an eminent historian, like your good self, knew the South Australian football milieu?

Do you have any contact with the state league and some of the former NSL clubs these days?

 In Tasmania everybody knows everybody else, so people's histories are well known. On the mainland in coach education  courses, all sorts of players with supposedly  illustrious playing careers look mediocre when one puts the kit on and plays! Most of the Tasmanian coaching courses have a much higher playing standard of course participants than the mainland courses I've attended.

There is a plethora of current and former state league players who frequent Tasmanian coaching courses. One of the worst players I've played with/against is former FFA senior coach educator, Rob Sherman, in a  FFA Tasmanian based coaching course. Many have undertaken coaching courses with Rob across Australia. I couldn't believe Rob said he was a former youth pro in Wales/England!

Simply by doing officially recognised coaching courses one often meets many former pro players. Then by coaching one meets many former pros after juniors.

I've been told by a local football historian that Brett Pullen played for Adelaide City in the NSL. 
Edited
6 Months Ago by Decentric
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Ah more fudging of the truth re relatives and connections to top tier.

Keep going mate, I'm ready to pounce on your rampant bullshit.
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Ah, decentric- back to your usual condescending style I see. I can't really see what those lists of players and their occupations prove, other than that you are a massive name dropper who can use google. What comments do you expect us to make? Footballers get into a huge variety of occupations when they can no longer play football- so what? Everyone knows that already.

Brett Pullen played just six games for Ad City in the nsl- and nobody knew he was Tasmanian anyway!

What club did you support when you were a football mad seven year old in England?
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It does makes you laugh.  

Years ago he admitted he never followed football, as his piss poor football knowledge pre anything 2005 will attest too, but since he's worked out you can say pretty much anything you like on the internet without recourse he's really padded out his 'credentials' no end. (Personally I doubt he's played at any level above a social kickabout in the park.)

I vaguely remember him crapping on about the goal Jimmy Mackay scored in HK like he watched it live.  Bloody hell.




Member since 2008.

In response to the usual drivel eldorado wrote:
Your antithetical naysaying of contemporary football orthodoxy is sadly all too prevalent within the current philosophical zeitgeist of the Australian football millieu... 


Edited
6 Months Ago by Munrubenmuz
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localstar - 10 May 2017 9:22 AM


Brett Pullen played just six games for Ad City in the nsl- and nobody knew he was Tasmanian anyway!

What club did you support when you were a football mad seven year old in England?

My take is that given the difficulties many top sportspeople have with adapting to life as soon as their pro sport career finishes, in the case of football it may be better to play NPL, simultaneously forging a career outside it.



Liverpool and the local team, Glastonbury.

Some of the big games shown in England were Liverpool playing Borussia Dortmund in a final,  the  equivalent to the current UEFA Champ League Final, and Liverpool winning the FA Cup circa 1965 when they beat Leeds.

Which teams did you support in 1964-5, Localstar?
Edited
6 Months Ago by Decentric
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localstar - 10 May 2017 9:22 AM
Ah, decentric- back to your usual condescending style I see. I can't really see what those lists of players and their occupations prove, other than that you are a massive name dropper who can use google. What comments do you expect us to make? Footballers get into a huge variety of occupations when they can no longer play football- so what? Everyone knows that already.


Most fans probably think that former footballers have:

 1. Made so much money they never need to work again.

2. Easily find well paying jobs in the football media and /or coaching.


The reality appears quite different.



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Decentric - 10 May 2017 5:08 PM
localstar - 10 May 2017 9:22 AM

My take is that given the difficulties many top sportspeople have with adapting to life as soon as their pro sport career finishes, in the case of football it may be better to play NPL, simultaneously forging a career outside it.



Liverpool and the local team, Glastonbury.

Some of the big games shown in England were Liverpool playing Borussia Dortmund in a final,  the  equivalent to the current UEFA Champ League Final, and Liverpool winning the FA Cup circa 1965 when they beat Leeds.

Which teams did you support in 1964-5, Localstar?

1. That's what most footballers in Australia had to do, before the recent advent of the A League- except for the tiny handful who managed to play in Europe. Most retired footballers manage to get on with their lives OK- it is only a small handful who attract sensational headlines with their "inability to cope".

2. Liverpool played Borussia Dortmund in the 1966 cup winners cup final- which was not equivalent to the current champions league final- it was a knock out cup for the winners of national knock out cup competitions. But I thought a big fan like you would have known that- and perhaps you don't know how to google after all.

3. Manchester United was my favourite team, plus I supported the local club here that I played for as a junior.




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Decentric - 10 May 2017 5:08 PM
localstar - 10 May 2017 9:22 AM

My take is that given the difficulties many top sportspeople have with adapting to life as soon as their pro sport career finishes, in the case of football it may be better to play NPL, simultaneously forging a career outside it.



So are you suggesting we should tell a kid  to give up his dream of playing at the highest level and play npl in case they might suffer depression when they retire? 
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JDB03 - 11 May 2017 7:04 AM
Decentric - 10 May 2017 5:08 PM

So are you suggesting we should tell a kid  to give up his dream of playing at the highest level and play npl in case they might suffer depression when they retire? 

Just to add to this, why couldn't a pro footballer start to set up his life after football by completing courses in their preferred carrier path? Building course, trades course, I.T course and so on. I think its up to the individual as to how life after football may affect them. I think to link all of the people you have with struggles is fair but im sure that there are a lot of ex footballers that are also doing ok.

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JDB03 - 11 May 2017 1:39 PM
JDB03 - 11 May 2017 7:04 AM

Just to add to this, why couldn't a pro footballer start to set up his life after football by completing courses in their preferred carrier path? Building course, trades course, I.T course and so on. I think its up to the individual as to how life after football may affect them. I think to link all of the people you have with struggles is fair but im sure that there are a lot of ex footballers that are also doing ok.

Most ex-footballers do OK with the rest of their lives. It's just the very small minority who have problems who grab the headlines. This is just an exercise by D. to show that he is "in the know" when it comes to football.

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Life always has its hurdles no matter what where your from or have done in your young days to later.

If you had the chance being a pro in your passion good on you I say, something many as myself wish they could have.
Doesn't mean you have the golden ticket to easy life once retired but how you looked ahead whilst making some hard earned certainly helps.
Not rocket science.

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JDB03 - 11 May 2017 1:39 PM
JDB03 - 11 May 2017 7:04 AM

Just to add to this, why couldn't a pro footballer start to set up his life after football by completing courses in their preferred carrier path? Building course, trades course, I.T course and so on. I think its up to the individual as to how life after football may affect them. I think to link all of the people you have with struggles is fair but im sure that there are a lot of ex footballers that are also doing ok.

A number of people who have played just below professional football have aspired to become a full time pro.

A mate of mine has a book, which has not been returned, where many English Lower League players question whether they've undertaken the right path becoming a pro footballer.

In this state there  are no paid jobs for football coaches outside NPL senior coaches who make circa 7 000 dollars  per year. The notable exception is Ken Morton. He  makes a fortune running his soccer school under the auspices of South Hobart NPL club. Jobs with Football Fed Tas also have reasonable remuneration.

 One of the keeping coaches  for an NPL club, who originally  comes from Sydney, told me that  coaches in NSW  are often paid $800 per week for supposedly elite youth programs.

At the same time, I'm not sure  there are many reasonably remunerated coaching jobs available for former pro players in Oz. It seems like the best option for any pro player is to simultaneously learn a trade or a profession for life after a pro football career.

I've also known others who have tried a full time playing football program who have become bored with it. In this state NPL teams train 2-3 nights a week, some possibly 4. This is quite different  from playing and training twice a day at times.

To answer your question, JDBO3, it seems like many  former professional sportspeople have trouble adapting to life after retirement - not just football. NPL players generally don't have that void at the end of their career. They definitely don't have the highs of a HAL player either.

One Aussie player, Marco Maisano, quit in his mid-twenties from playing Scottish Premier League Div 2. He thought he had wasted his life playing pro football in Europe from 15- 25, when one day he was playing in front of 800 spectators on a cold, windy day.

 He set up a recruitment agency for American colleges where he claims that Aussie players can simultaneously  experience a full time pro football program, whilst undergoing tertiary education.
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6 Months Ago by Decentric
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localstar - 11 May 2017 2:01 PM
JDB03 - 11 May 2017 1:39 PM

Most ex-footballers do OK with the rest of their lives. It's just the very small minority who have problems who grab the headlines. This is just an exercise by D. to show that he is "in the know" when it comes to football.

It isn't.

I only vaguely know some of these former pro players. I know some a lot better than others.


Compared to Adelaide, which has circa 1 million and a half million  with a few NPL clubs,

 Tasmania has:

 Hobart with a population of 200 000 supporting 5 NPL clubs.

Launceston with a population of 80 000 supporting 2 NPL clubs.

Devonport with a population  of 30 000 supporting 1 NPL club.


Everybody in football knows most of the former pros listed above. It is not name dropping.




I was quite shocked when a number of athletes from different sports discussed the issues they had post pro career on the ABC program. The number of former pro players I've known seem to be less happy than the general public, despite some exceptions to the norm.
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JDB03 - 11 May 2017 7:04 AM
Decentric - 10 May 2017 5:08 PM

So are you suggesting we should tell a kid  to give up his dream of playing at the highest level and play npl in case they might suffer depression when they retire? 

No.

Fair comment though.
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Two other  former players who reside in Tas:


* A player was playing League One in England. Quit football due to insufficient wages, to become a chef. Now resides here and in his 50s plays social football.



* A player from China quit the level below CSL 2, to live, study and work here. Still a young man, he plays suburban club football, social football and futsal.
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LFC. - 11 May 2017 6:40 PM
Life always has its hurdles no matter what where your from or have done in your young days to later.

If you had the chance being a pro in your passion good on you I say, something many as myself wish they could have.
Doesn't mean you have the golden ticket to easy life once retired but how you looked ahead whilst making some hard earned certainly helps.
Not rocket science.

This is the view I have held for a lot of my adult life until recently.

However, it seems that life as a full time HAL pro can be more of a roller coaster than a NPL player who has a career as well.
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Decentric - 16 May 2017 10:20 AM
LFC. - 11 May 2017 6:40 PM

This is the view I have held for a lot of my adult life until recently.

However, it seems that life as a full time HAL pro can be more of a roller coaster than a NPL player who has a career as well.

It all depends on the message you would like to portray to a young lad when his sites are set on any future carrier path.
Shoot for the top and give it 110% or settle for second best just in case? I know the message I give to my kids. Many of us live with regrets regardless as to where we are today. The less regrets the more your happier with your life. D I would hate to think that you as a coach would be recommending to your young lads to jump off the roller coaster just in case they get sick.

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JDB03 - 17 May 2017 11:32 AM
Decentric - 16 May 2017 10:20 AM

It all depends on the message you would like to portray to a young lad when his sites are set on any future carrier path.
Shoot for the top and give it 110% or settle for second best just in case? I know the message I give to my kids. Many of us live with regrets regardless as to where we are today. The less regrets the more your happier with your life. D I would hate to think that you as a coach would be recommending to your young lads to jump off the roller coaster just in case they get sick.

It is a question I've discussed a lot off forum recently with other geriatrics.

Those who've played state league and have had professions/trades have been able to retire from the workforce  at 55, or close to it.

Some people who have coached since finishing their pro career are still having to coach in their sixties, when they are pretty tired, in order to keep earning a crust. Ron Smith, Steve Derby and Ken Morton are a few who come to mind. David Smith, Steve Pain and David Abela are pretty ancient too. 

I have no regrets!

As you suggest one can learn a trade ( or can one?) or study whilst pursuing a full time football career. The job after the highs of football could seem pretty mundane though.

In other careers such as music, art and acting, they can be particularly uncertain. One can aim very high, work diligently and get nowhere. 
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Decentric - 17 May 2017 5:23 PM
JDB03 - 17 May 2017 11:32 AM

It is a question I've discussed a lot off forum recently with other geriatrics.

Those who've played state league and have had professions/trades have been able to retire from the workforce  at 55, or close to it.

Some people who have coached since finishing their pro career are still having to coach in their sixties, when they are pretty tired, in order to keep earning a crust. Ron Smith, Steve Derby and Ken Morton are a few who come to mind. David Smith, Steve Pain and David Abela are pretty ancient too. 

I have no regrets!

As you suggest one can learn a trade ( or can one?) or study whilst pursuing a full time football career. The job after the highs of football could seem pretty mundane though.

In other careers such as music, art and acting, they can be particularly uncertain. One can aim very high, work diligently and get nowhere. 

Clearly when you asked the question is a pro career worth it you don't believe it is. That's ok. 
I just don't agree with you regardless to how many names you give. I guess in the end your either a half glass empty or half glass full sort of guy. That's up to the individual. 
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Decentric - 17 May 2017 5:23 PM
JDB03 - 17 May 2017 11:32 AM

It is a question I've discussed a lot off forum recently with other geriatrics.

Those who've played state league and have had professions/trades have been able to retire from the workforce  at 55, or close to it.

Some people who have coached since finishing their pro career are still having to coach in their sixties, when they are pretty tired, in order to keep earning a crust. Ron Smith, Steve Derby and Ken Morton are a few who come to mind. David Smith, Steve Pain and David Abela are pretty ancient too. 

I have no regrets!

As you suggest one can learn a trade ( or can one?) or study whilst pursuing a full time football career. The job after the highs of football could seem pretty mundane though.

In other careers such as music, art and acting, they can be particularly uncertain. One can aim very high, work diligently and get nowhere. 

David Smith will be looking for another gig now ...... looks like he'll be needing to work a few more years
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juniorcoach - 18 May 2017 10:57 AM
Decentric - 17 May 2017 5:23 PM

David Smith will be looking for another gig now ...... looks like he'll be needing to work a few more years

Is this the David Smith current FFV technical director?

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