A-League players Daniel Mullen and Karl Dodd were this evening recognised by Australia’s elite professional footballers when they received the annual PFA KimonTaliadoros Scholarships at the PFA Alex Tobin OAM Medal ceremony hosted by Professional Footballers Australia (PFA).

The PFA KimonTaliadoros Scholarships are awarded annually to two players who demonstrate excellence in their development off the field, such as through education, business, charitable or community involvement.  One scholarship recognises excellent achievement by a young player (under 23) still forging and building his career as a professional footballer. The second recognises achievement by an experienced player in preparing for life after football.

PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab said that the PFA Taliadoros Scholarships form an important part of the PFA’s comprehensive education programs that assist players with their off-field development and help them prepare for life after football.

“The career of a professional footballer is often short-term, precarious and of constant transition,” Schwab said.  “Whilst the A-League is only in its 5th season, less than 30% of the competition’s inaugural players remain in the League.  Daniel and Karl – by committing themselves to excellence on and off the field – have set an example which we encourage all players to follow.”

Daniel has successfully completed first year subjects towards a Bachelor of Human Movement at the University of South Australia. He has been able to do this whilst balancing Adelaide United’s Asian Champions’ League and A-League commitments as well as Socceroo representation.  Daniel has recently been selected into the Australian U/20 squad which also shows his ability to balance his study whilst playing at a high level.  He has also been actively promoting a balance between study and sport through the media.

“My education is very important to me as it gives me something to fall back on when my playing days are over,” commented Mullen. “This is a great honour and I hope that I can follow in the football and academic footsteps of Kimon in the years to come.”

Karl Dodd is a tough tackling defender who recently transferred to Queensland Fury from Wellington Phoenix.  While playing professional football, Karl has completed university studies in Education and Arts. He is now studying Human Movement and Psychology and on completion plans to progress to a Masters in Sport Psychology.  He also wants to complete his AFC Coaching Levels.

Karl has a career plan mapped out where his studies are all part of the process of making him highly qualified to take on a coaching role when he retires from football.  Karl believes that he not only needs his playing experience but also the knowledge of the science and psychology of the game to be a successful coach.

“Off field education is part of a career development plan that will make my transition to a role in football after my playing days are over much easier,” said Dodd. “Planning for that time is something that all footballers should do and I thank the PFA for the contribution that they have made to my progress through the Education Fund and Kimon’s scholarship.”

KIMON TALIADOROS co-founded the PFA in 1993, and enjoyed an outstanding playing career, highlighted by international honours, the NSL goal scoring award in 1992 and 2 NSL championships.  Whilst playing, he served as the PFA’s first Chief Executive and then became its second President.  Also whilst playing, he achieved educational excellence, marked by the attainment of professional accountancy and business qualifications whilst a young player and a Master of Business Administration later in his career.