Having recently joined Emirates Club in the UAE, former Sydney FC defender Zac Anderson shares with the PFA the importance of the support he received from the players’ association during negotiations with clubs from the Gulf and how it equipped him to make an informed decision.

“There were a lot of late night phone calls to Angela (Collins, the PFA’s Legal Counsel) over the past few weeks,” says Zac Anderson with a laugh. “I was in touch constantly – from the start to eventually signing with Emirates Club.”

After departing Sydney FC the former Olyroo was eager to continue his career abroad. Like many before him, when the offers started coming the terms and the conditions contained in the contracts on offer were vastly different from what he had become used to in the  Hyundai A-League.

“As soon as I had interest from Asia and the Gulf I got in touch with the PFA, as I knew the process might a be lengthy one, as this was uncharted waters for me,” said Anderson.

“Dealing with Asian contracts was very different than dealing with the standard player contract in the A-League. From the very start Angela, was involved and she was a fantastic resource and provided great expertise to ensure my rights were upheld and that I got the best possible contract.

“I had two clubs, and they were very similar clubs, but two very different contracts and if I didn’t have the Plan B then my future would have been very difficult. I was told things when I went into face-to-face negotiations that were different to what was on paper. If I didn’t have the expertise of Angela it could have been a very different situation for me.”

With pre-season set to get underway on Friday for his new club the central defender said he could now focus on what lies ahead, knowing he has signed the best possible contract.

“This is where I want to be. My goal for the past few seasons has been to head overseas and have an adventure and I have secured that now. I have been working hard to make sure my body is in a good position to attack day one of pre-season full throttle and really uphold the strong reputation that Australians have in the UAE.

“The PFA allowed me to make an informed decision because I could understand everything I was signing. I always understood the importance of the PFA and the expertise they could bring, but this process showed just how important the PFA is. I had the ability to contact experts in the field if things did not go to plan. To have Angela, and to use her expertise, was really reassuring.”

With 42 per cent of the PFA’s 120 cases from the 2015/16 financial year related to overseas matters, Anderson said he would encourage all members to utilise the PFA’s services prior to joining a new club.

“It would be silly for any player not to get a second opinion. Most players have a representative or an agent, but in my case I wanted to get a second opinion. Angela was superb throughout and gave her opinion and advice and at the end of the day it was my decision, but if I wouldn’t have had her advice and knowledge on contract law my decision would have been a lot more difficult. I urge all players to utilise the services of the PFA.”

PFA Chief Executive John Didulica said Anderson’s experience highlighted the need for players to take steps to make informed decisions.

“Australian football’s success is determined by a small pool of professional players, when compared to many nations which we compete with,” said Didulica. “Every career matters and the PFA has the expertise to help players make the best possible decision to ensure they they can succeed  and off the pitch.”


For more information on the PFA’s Advice and Representation Services contact Angela Collins via angela@pfa.net.au or go to: http://www.pfa.net.au/?page_id=275