Players prepare for second career at PCA Transition Conference.

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St. George’s Park played host to the annual Professional Cricketers’ Association Transition Conference this week with current and former players attending the event to help prepare players for a second career.

The Football Association’s national football centre was the venue for the two-day conference, which brought together current, recently released and retired players at a venue outside of cricket to represent moving on from cricket.

The PCA Transition Conference upskilled PCA members about the challenges of transition with presentations from a number of former cricketers who explained their journeys out of the game including Jeremy Snape, David Paynter, Steve Clark, Roger Sillence and Rob Taylor.

The conference was the centrepiece of ‘PCA Transition Week’ and with the average age of a professional cricketer’s career ending being just 26, helping players transition into a second career is a key element of the PCA Personal Development and Welfare Programme.

Former England bowler Graham Onions attended with the 36-year-old putting the thought of life after cricket as a priority after a fruitful year with the ball in his debut season at Lancashire. Only three players took more wickets than Onions in Division One of the County Championship but he understands the need to plan ahead.

“I’m here to think about the future, us as cricketers never think the end is going to come as we are doing something we love but being the ripe old age of 36 I need to be ready for the second part of my life,” said Onions.

“I have an idea I’d like to go into coaching but am I going to find another dream job like I have done for the last 20 years? Probably not, but if I start the process now I am already a step ahead.

“I’m lucky I’ve had a great career but there’s lots of players out there who are 20-years-old and unfortunately have to think of their future earlier than what I have.

“I am no mug, I have to think about the future so it’s about thinking about the skills I have that are going to give me an opportunity for me to enjoy the next 30 years of my career because that’s a long time.

“I want to start that process of finding a second job that I love. The biggest thing I have learnt is speaking to the guys from various backgrounds and businesses at the conference, they are interested in us as cricketers and our various attributes we pick up being professional sportsmen.”

2018 Transition Conference

See what happened when current, recently released and retired cricketers came together at PCA Transition Conference.

Since 2012, the PCA have guided 199 players into a varied range of second careers, 28% of players have moved into cricket coaching with physiotherapy, umpiring, financial services, the oil industry and sports management among the 44 different occupations.

The PCA Transition Conference included sessions on pensions, financial management, physiological effects of transition, networking and presentation skills with a number of former players attending a networking lunch and tour of St. George’s Park including Darren Bicknell, Stephen Moore, Stuart Eustace and Richard Morris.

PCA Chairman Daryl Mitchell was at the two-day event to expand his skillset and was pleased with the range of attendees and exposure created throughout the week.

“PCA Transition Week highlights the fact transitioning out of playing is going to happen at some stage. Having that next generation of players at the conference and the work in spreading this message brings it to light for everyone, not just the 34-year-olds like myself,” said Mitchell.

PCA Personal Development Manager Lynsey Williams was the lead organiser of the conference and explains the importance of the conference to PCA members.

“The Personal Development and Welfare Programme is all about preparing players for a career after playing cricket whilst performing the best they can at the job they love.”

“We start our education with academy players, making sure they are managing their dual aspirations and encouraging them to upskill and grow their CV even from the start of their careers.

“The idea of all of this is so when players come towards the end of their career and attend initiatives like the PCA Transition Conference it is not the first interaction they have had with personal development and is more about building their knowledge and experience and taking it to the next level.”

For more information on the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme click here.

Keep up-to-date with the week’s activities by following the #PCATransitionWeek hashtag on all social media accounts.