Young aspiring rugby league players encouraged to have long-term career plans


May 26, 2017 10:55:41

Young recruits to the National Rugby League (NRL) are getting more support from clubs to plan their careers after sport.

It is an issue that was highlighted by a Four Corners program earlier this month that heard from athletes who had been unable to find work after they retired, despite being household names.

Kim Williams was previously an assistant coach with the Melbourne Storm, but now coaches the Central Queensland Capras in the Queensland Cup competition.

He said it was important for young players to have a plan B in case they did not make the grade.

“You need to plan ahead, and every athlete knows it’s a finite career,” he said.

“In the life expectancy of 70 or 80, you might be a professional athlete for 10 or 15 years at the most, so it would seem logical that you’ve got to think, help to set yourself up outside of your sporting career.”

Mr Williams said teenagers could be recruited while they were still at school, and were often encouraged to forgo education and long-term career planning to focus on rugby league.

“They very much have tunnel vision and are encouraged to be that way and really put all their eggs in one basket,” he said.

“I’ve seen coaches encourage young players to even leave school before they finish Year 12.

“You’ve got two years in the…

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