FOOTBALL can be one of the shortest careers and players should prepare for a life after it.
Footballers are some of the celebrities that enjoy the fame they get during their playing days. Some are well remunerated and live a lavish life when they are at their peak.
However, it is unfortunate some of the players die paupers or end up being destitute having failed to invest or plan for a life after football.
Some players manage to buy houses for themselves and their families. It is however, important to note that there is a difference in securing one’s life by buying homes and investing in a business with returns.
In the past we have seen people fundraising to help former players, some of them would have played at the highest level and made some fortune during their playing days. Some have done well running their own businesses while some have since ventured into coaching, administration and others even now own teams and academies.
Veteran football administrator Brian Moyo felt most footballers miss it when they are still at their peak.
“Post playing life for footballers must begin at the peak of their playing life while the individuals’ fame and earning capacities are at peak,” Moyo told the Daily News on Sunday.
“Many athletes miss vital support organs and instruments to adequately prepare for post playing life.”
Moyo believes players should be advised of how short the playing career is and prepare for the life after football.
“Players need to be made aware of the short time in the sun, their unique career that ends at the beginning of life (mid 30s). Therefore it is imperative that this fact is established early and acted upon,” added Moyo.
“Families and professional support organs are critical to help, whether the athlete intends to pursue studies, technical studies like coaching or wants to escalate into management and maybe venture into business. The foundations and pathways of these need to be established early and acted upon.”
Educator and football coach Bongani Mafu felt coaches and managers should play a major role in advising the players.
“It is unfortunate people have more popularity than anything else. We as coaches should advise active players to prepare well for life after football by saving and investing,” said the Hwange FC coach.
Another veteran administrator Mkhululi Mthunzi thought preparing for life after football was key.
“Footballers should start preparing for their retirement in the late stages of their playing careers by acquiring their coaching badges if they intend to coach and their administration courses if they intend to go into mainstream football administration,” Mthunzi said.
“It is also of paramount importance that these players must have managers that will administer their finances during their playing careers so that their finances are well managed.
“Pertinent decisions are made in acquiring assets, investments are done so that even after their careers they can continue earning and avoid falling on hard times as has been the case with many players who die grumbling and feeling let down by the game that they so dearly loved.”
The fearless administrator took a swipe at some former footballers who want to lead without proper qualification and qualities.
“Many a times we have seen those that did not plan well for life after football clamouring for shortcuts like wanting to lead football organisations without the pre-requisite qualifications,” he said.
“They argue that they know football in and out as they played football at the highest level. They are forgetting that playing football at that level does not automatically translate to one being a good coach or a good administrator.”
According to Mthunzi they are typical examples of great players failing to be good coaches and it is well documented hence the need for the former players to take the initiative to fully equip themselves.
They should build on their football experience and passion, fight and win against other competitors for leadership roles and forget dreaming about some affirmative action that will never come.
“They should also forget that football will come and kneel at them to lead it, they must fight and win and be great leaders of their clubs, area zones, provinces, regions and eventually their mother associations,” Mthunzi said.
“It is then that they will manage to influence programmes that will help other players to prepare for life after football.”