Futures Week event sees cricketers of all ages focus on personal development.

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Current and former players met for the first in-person PCA Futures Conference in two years, as PCA members took time to focus on their personal development during the off-season.

The two-day Futures Conference returned to the England national football team training centre at St. George’s Park this year, as players were able to gain expertise from guest speakers and discuss career transition with one another in an in-person setting at the impressive facility.

Sixteen players who are currently representing – or have recently represented – 13 different professional teams were in attendance at the event which saw them take part in numerous activities, exercises and discussions designed to give them clarity on their options for a future second career.

The final session of the event saw a careers carousel where PCA members including Will Porterfield, Tom Poynton and Vishal Tripathi shared their own experiences of the property, investment banking and medicine industries with the players.

Players convene for Futures Conference

Current and former players meet to focus on personal development...

Representatives from Lodders Solicitors, who are the lead sponsors of the Futures initiatives, also sat on the carousel having earlier presented to the group on how best to pursue a career in law.

Later this year, the PCA Futures Awards will take place at Lodders’ head offices in Cheltenham for the very first time to reward PCA members who have taken steps for their personal development. You can find more information here.

Other speakers at the Futures Conference included former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor, who gave an inspirational talk on his own experiences of career transition. PCA members Harry Gurney, Chris Nash and Adam Rouse, who was featured by the PCA earlier in the week after opening his own F45 gym, also hosted an informal discussion based on their own recent career changes.

The average age of retirement from the professional game remains at 26, and the PCA has now assisted 268 players into their second careers since 2012. The Association is therefore proud to reaffirm its commitment to supporting players in this area which remains a cornerstone of its industry-leading Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP).

The Futures Conference was the headline event of Futures Week 2021, an initiative designed for all PCA members, from those at the outset of their career to those who have retired from the professional game.

Running from Monday 1 – Sunday 7 November, Futures Week encourages cricketers to consider their second careers and start planning ahead as they look towards the future.

Worcestershire all-rounder, Ed Barnard, said: “It’s been really interesting to hear so many different perspectives at Futures Conference, putting everything in place for that transition from being a professional cricketer to life outside of the game.

“The PCA does such a good job creating these opportunities through events like this, but you also make amazing contacts through cricket which you really have to make the most of. A lot of players aren’t sure what they want to do after cricket, so the more things that you try, the more likely you are to find something you’re really passionate about.

“Past players often say that they wished they had put things in place earlier, so speaking to those players inspired me to go to events like Futures Conference. Even if you take one thing from these two days, that might help you out further down the line to work out what it is that you want to do.”

PCA Director of Member Services, Ian Thomas, said: “Every year, PCA Futures Week illustrates the breadth of careers that both current and former professional cricketers can consider once their playing days are over. Through the success stories that we’ve seen this week, I hope that PCA members will be inspired and begin to take steps for their own futures.

“It was also fantastic to see the Futures Conference return for the first time in two years. I was at St. George’s Park for the event, and it was clear to see that discussing career transition in an open, in-person environment was hugely beneficial for all those present. I would like to thank all of the speakers, including a number of PCA members, for coming to the conference to share their expertise with the group.”

PCA Futures Conference 2021 attendees: Billy Godleman, Alex Hughes, Tom Wood (all Derbyshire), Matt Critchley (Essex), Chris Cooke (Glamorgan), Tom Lace (Gloucestershire), James Fuller (Hampshire), Adam Rouse (former Kent), Harry Dearden, Abidine Sakande (both Leicestershire), Ben Green (Somerset), Fran Wilson (Sunrisers), Jade Dernbach (former Surrey), Stuart Meaker (former Sussex), Adam Hose (Warwickshire), Ed Barnard (Worcestershire).

Futures Week shines a light on the area of personal development and career transition among PCA members. The two-day Futures Conference forms the centrepiece of the initiative and both are part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP). Click here to find out more.