COLUMN: PFA chair Ritchie Humphreys on preparing players for future

Tommy Lee and Ritchie Humphries celebrate League One Football next season
Tommy Lee and Ritchie Humphries celebrate League One Football next season
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In my role as chairman of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), I am involved in helping players prepare for the time when they are no longer playing the game.

Many might be surprised to learn the fall-out rate of footballers, with figures suggesting the average career lasts between five and six years.

Braintree Town vs Chesterfield - Ritchie Humphries - Pic By James Williamson

Braintree Town vs Chesterfield - Ritchie Humphries - Pic By James Williamson

Many scholars are not given professional contracts and players can leave the game at any time due to injury or because their contract has not been renewed.

A major role played by the PFA is the education of players and we try and help as much as we possibly can.

There are more jobs in the game now than there once were.

There are sports science roles, for example, as well as physiotherapy and performance analyst positions.

More players are gaining qualifications each year and some of them are studying diverse subjects.

We have forensic scientists and pilots among our members.

Re-education is an important aspect.

It is important to get players back into the classroom, which is something they may not have done in a long time.

As a footballer, you have to be disciplined, focused and committed, but that can be a big help when you take on a challenge such as an educational course or learning new skills.

It can be difficult for some players to adapt when they have finished playing.

I am proud of the work we do at the PFA to help players with their post-football careers.