Professional Footballers Australia (the PFA) has teamed up with Tactical Switch Consultancy to deliver media training workshops with A-League and W-League players.

The workshops are designed to assist players with their transition into the new environment of professional football, equip players with an understanding of the role of the media in professional sport and provide practical interview techniques.

The ‘Media 101’ workshops were curated and delivered by former talkSPORT UK football producer and current Fox Sports Australia footballer reporter James Dodd, the founder of Tactical Switch Consultancy.

Delivered online to first- and second-year players from across the A-League and W-League, the workshops covered the following four core topics:

  • The role of the media;
  • What the media is seeking from athletes;
  • Interview techniques and personal presentation; and
  • Advantages and disadvantages of social media

Dodd said he was delighted to provide expert insights into the industry he navigated in England and Australia, which has encompassed work in the English Premier League, A-League and W-League, and help players to understand the media’s function within their careers.

“Tactical Switch Consultancy is absolutely delighted to be working with the PFA in order to help equip the next generation of footballers with the necessary media skills to help them throughout their careers,” Dodd said.

“With the media landscape constantly changing and fans now able to interact directly with their heroes, it’s important for players to feel both composed and confident when working in partnership with the media.

“We’ve seen so many talented young players in both the A-League and W-League take their chance in first team football this year and helping those footballers not only navigate but embrace the media at a young age is vitally important. The stories and experiences our young footballers share can be the inspiration for future generations.”

The attendees included several emerging players from within both the men’s and women’s domestic competitions who have been exposed to media responsibilities this season, including Al Hassan Toure, Charles Mmombwa, Luka Prso, Kayla Morrison, Hana Lowry, Bianca Galic and Bryleeh Henry.

Sydney FC’s Calem Nieuwenhof was one of the many emerging A-League players attending the online workshops who said he benefited from the additional training, particularly given his increase media duties since enjoying first-team football this season.

“It was very insightful and provided us with specific tips to help us in the future when doing interviews,” Nieuwenhof said.

Canberra United’s 18-year-old defender Emma Ilijoski echoed Nieuwenhof’s sentiments, reiterating the importance of media training for developing players.

“As a first-year player the Media training 101 workshop delivered by James was a great insight into the responsibility of us as players and our role in the media,” Ilijoski said.

“It was interesting to hear real-life examples as well as learn many helpful tips that I will definitely utilise for the entirety of my footballing career.”

To find out more about Tactical Switch Consultancy, click here.