Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) to conduct an extensive research project into the services and programs required to ensure the success and wellbeing of Australian footballers plying their trade abroad.

PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian announced the commencement of the project today, which will be conducted via an extensive survey of current and former players who have played overseas.

With over 180 Australian’s currently playing abroad Vivian said the aim of the research was to be equip the PFA with ‘world class’ services and programs for its overseas members.

“The PFA is aware of the many challenges, difficulties and opportunities Australian players based overseas can face,” said Vivian. “To ensure we are in the best possible position to assist our overseas members it is vital that our programs are based on expert research. Gaining an insight into the experiences of players, who are, or who have previously played overseas, is a key component of making sure this is the case.

“Additionally this goes to the very heart of Australia’s international competitiveness. Whilst both the A-League and W-League will no doubt continue to play an increasingly important role in providing players for the National Teams, our players will continue to pursue careers abroad for a variety of reasons.

“With a relatively small pool of professional players to call on for both the Socceroos and the Matildas, when compared to many Nations, it is essential that we do everything in our power to equip them with the necessary programs and support to ensure their wellbeing.”

Having recently conducted research into the wellbeing of retired and transitioned players Vivian said the identity of all participants in the overseas player research project would remain confidential.

“I encourage all Australian players who have played professionally overseas, or who are currently doing so, to take up this opportunity to ensure their peers have the best possible chance of succeeding abroad.”