Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) A-League Delegates’ Committee highlights player education and development, Minimum Medical Standards, and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) implementation and enforcement as key issues facing players in the lead-up to the impending CBA negotiations.

Having met via teleconference on Monday, the Delegates’ Committee, which is made up of representatives from across the A-League,  act as the workplace representatives of PFA members at their respective A-League clubs (click here to view the list of A-League Delegates).

A key element of the PFA’s extensive organising activities in 2013/2014, the meeting saw the Delegates discuss in detail the key issues facing the players as they seek to ensure a world class workplace and the growth of the game.

These areas included:
·       CBA implementation and enforcement;
·       Preparedness for negotiations ahead of the expiry of the current CBA in 2015;
·       Player education and development;
·       Minimum Medical Standards, and
·       Workplace health and safety.

PFA Delegate and Sydney FC player Richard Garcia said discussions throughout the meeting had highlighted the importance of player education and wellbeing, particularly for professionals in times of transition and retirement.

“In my experience as a professional I have played with many teammates who have really struggled mentally as their careers have come to an end,” said Garcia.

“No amount of success on the pitch can prepare you for life post football.

“We must ensure all players are provided with the support and infrastructure to allow them to be successful in their second career.

“Footballers in the A-League do not ‘retire’ at the end of their careers, we must transition into a second one, which for many reasons can be difficult.

“Its important that football as a game recognises that to assists former professionals make this step from football is part of the career path that goes to the overall attractiveness and competitiveness of the A-League itself”.

PFA General Manager Adam Vivian said the work of the PFA A-League Delegates’ Committee will become an increasingly important component in the implementation of the PFA’s objectives.

“The knowledge and engagement our delegates have shown is illustrative of that of all A-League players and is reflective of the vital role our player representatives play,” said Vivian.

“Our Executive Members and Delegates will play an even greater role in the negotiation of the next CBA, and have made clear their desire for an agreement that is truly ‘in partnership with the players’ and ensures the attractiveness of our league on a global scale.”