Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) announces significant research project into retired and transitioned players as it seeks to ensure both the wellbeing of footballers and the delivery of world class development programs.

Aimed at providing the PFA with a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges professional footballers face post career, the research project will investigate the wellbeing of retired and transitioned players.

Conducted via an extensive survey of former footballers the findings will then be collated into a report, which will then guide and inform all PFA wellbeing programs.

PFA General Manager Adam Vivian said it was essential this research is conducted to ensure the PFA is equipped to assist footballers in what is often a very challenging time in their lives.

“A core objective of the PFA is to provide world class assistance to footballers, which enables them to succeed on the pitch and off the pitch when they transition into a second career,” said Vivian.

“The PFA is well aware of the difficulties many footballers have faced post career and equally so of the success many have had in their second careers.

“It is vital that these experiences are utilised so that future generations of players are in the best possible position for a successful transition.

“Ensuring the successful implementation of player wellbeing programs is also an integral element of further growing the attractiveness of the Hyundai A-League.

“The PFA will also continue to work closely with FIFPro, the World Footballers’ Association, as we have throughout their extensive study into mental health in professional football and will utilise their expertise in our own research.”

PFA National Manager, Player Development Ben Robertson said the research project will examine all the possible areas that can have an impact on players ability to successfully transition.

“Professional football can be an all consuming profession and moving on to a new phase in life without the structures that come with it can be difficult,” said Robertson.

“In trying to transition we know that many former professional footballers may struggle with a range of hurdles, which can include mental health issues, financial hardship and anxiety about their identity.

“The nature of their retirement, be it voluntary or involuntary, can also have an impact on their preparedness for transition.

“The objective of this research is to ensure that the PFA can best support footballers through transition no matter what the circumstances.”