Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) continues its support of its members’ off-field development with the latest round of Education Grants having been approved by the PFA Executive Committee.

With over 40 players having been approved for funding in their pursuit of off-field development the recent round of approvals saw the PFA distribute in excess of $46,000, bringing its investment in the players education to over $100,000 for this financial year.

PFA members received funding for their off-field development in areas such as language learning, Bachelor Degrees in fields such as law, economics, sports science and business and for coaching qualifications.

PFA National Manager, Player Development Ben Robertson said the Education fund played a vital role in ensuring the wellbeing of footballers.

“The PFA’s research into the wellbeing of its retired and transitioned members has highlighted the importance professional development plays in preparing players for life post football,” said Robertson.

“With this in mind it is extremely pleasing to be able assist players in pursuing their development away from the pitch and the high number of applicants highlights the players eagerness to take up this opportunity.

“Whilst the PFA takes great pride in this, the game needs to make a much greater investment in the players’ development. Currently Australian football lags well behind the other major codes in terms of its investment in player development and transition and this must be addressed if we are to provide a genuine career path for Australia’s professional footballers.”

Now in his second year of a Sports Science degree, Massimo Murdocca was one of the recipients of a PFA Education Grant.

“The grants are extremely important to the players and act as great encouragement for the players in pursuing their interests away from the pitch,” said Murdocca. “The PFA’s support has been hugely important to me and I know that is the case for all players.”

For more information on PFA Education Grants and the PFA Player Development Program go to: http://pfa.net.au/education-grants/

For the full version of the PFA’s Retired and Transitioned Players Report go to: http://pfa.net.au/wp-content/uploads/RETIRED-TRANSITIONED-PLAYERS-FULL-REPORT-.pdf