27 September 2021
A fantastic new career in player care could be opened up to a Women in Football member, courtesy of a generous action for WIF's #GetOnside campaign.
The Player Care Group has pledged to provide a fully funded space on its Certificate in Player Care course, which offers insights into the profession from a group of expert practitioners with almost 20 years of experience between them.
The group's founder and Managing Director Hugo Scheckter said: "We're delighted to partner with Women in Football with such an exciting campaign and be a small part of the change in football. Personally, I love learning from the students on their experiences and how as a group we can change our thinking on player care to be a proactive, welcoming approach to all."
As clubs take a more enlightened approach to the well-being of their players, player care is a service increasingly in demand. Helping footballers and their families settle into a new team and community, and very often a new country, is a specialist skill which more and more clubs are seeking out.
This makes sense for the club as well as the player. The less a footballer is burdened with anxiety about their family, accommodation, social life, health and post-playing career, the better they can perform.
And because players themselves are a diverse group of people, player care is at its most effective when its practitioners, too, comprise a representative cross-section of society.
"I've always looked to recruit people different to me to get a wider point of view so we can make sure that everyone’s needs are catered for," said Hugo. "This is especially important in player care, where we have a hugely diverse playing group from around the world so the more we can to do to understand the players, their families and their needs the better job we can do.
"This movement will help open a career in player care to those who haven’t known about it or been able to access it before."
While seven Premier League clubs already have player care departments headed up by women, Hugo says this is "just a start" and looks forward to the service rolling out in women's professional football.
"Looking to the future, having a player care staff that's representative of our playing squads can only strengthen our provisions, and seeing the rise of player care within women’s football has been exciting to see.
"As of September 2021, four WSL clubs have now hired full-time player care staff with more set to follow – it's exciting to see how this will evolve."
The Certificate in Player Care offers sessions on first team and academy player care, a debate session, mental health, equality and well-being as well as guest speakers, an alumni programme, careers guidance and a final project in front of the group. Sessions on the sold-out six-week course take place every Tuesday evening from 9 November to 14 December, with bookings available for cohort 7, starting 1 February 2022.
• To apply for the opportunity please send your CV and covering note as to why you'd benefit from this opportunity to firstname.lastname@example.org. You must be available on the dates given above. Place to be confirmed by 15 October.
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