During his career in the A-League, Cameron Watson was passionate about helping his fellow professionals.

He served as a Delegate while at Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets, ensuring the voice of his peers was heard during Collective Bargaining Negotiations and, as a football fan first and foremost, he was always eager to see Australian football improve – not just for the players, but for the game as a whole.

Now The 34-year-old former A-League midfielder has the opportunity to channel that same passion he had during his professional career into the futures of players past and present in a new role with the PFA.

Watson, who played 123 A-League matches across six seasons in the A-League, will engage with players to enhance their careers on and off the pitch through the PFA’s Player Development Program and within the PFA’s Past Players Program.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started and engaging with current and former players. It is exciting times for football in Australia and we all need to embrace that,” Watson told pfa.net.au.

“I love football and always will. I am a fan now and enjoy the game like I did when I was playing. Our players are our biggest asset and we need them to be at the top to keep driving football in Australia. We have so many former players that have plenty to offer so engaging with them is a key area for me.”

The PFA’s Past Players Program was established earlier this year to extend the PFA’s Player Development Program services to players who have retired from the sport, while the PDP delivers wellbeing, career and transition support to current players in the A-Leagues, National Teams and those based overseas.

Watson hopes he can share his own experiences with PFA members to help them better themselves, their careers and prepare adequately for retirement.

“Interacting with past players will be great; getting them together on common ground and chatting about topics and issues we love to talk about is really important. I’m intrigued to see what so many other players are now doing in their day to day lives. Are they still involved in football in some capacity? Are they completely away from the game? Can we do anything to help with their transition?

“I think I transitioned quite well. I studied over a long period of time so i was prepared to go into the workforce. Also, I had great support from my family and friends which I think is a key element in that transition phase. More so, I am still playing so I still get to do the thing I love, just not on a full time basis.

Watson in action for Adelaide United in 2015 (Getty Images)

“I hope I can pass on any experience of mine to the younger generation which may help them during and post football.”

While Watson has another full-time role outside of football, his part-time work with the PFA will allow him to channel his passion for the players and the sport and further develop his own skills.

“Learning is endless for me. I think it’s important to see the game through a different lens; from contracts to CBA negotiations and player wellbeing.

“I am really keen to see the day to day operations and how we best support our players here and abroad and how other players are handling being full time professionals and the pressures that come with it and how they are transitioning out of the game.

“I enjoyed engaging with the PFA when I was a delegate and they were always so supportive with my studies and they were a great help when I was playing overseas.”

PFA Player Development Managers (PDMs) provide critical support to PFA members in a variety of areas, including career transition, wellbeing support, education advice and assistance and dual career exploration.