Former England international and Arsenal defender Alex Scott MBE has developed her career from the playing on the pitch to working in the media with support from the Professional Football Association.
Alex is a graduate from the PFA’s BA (Hons) in Professional Sports Writing and Broadcasting at Staffordshire University and is now a regular pundit on Final Score.
Being aware that a career playing football wasn’t going to last forever, Alex was determined to plan for the future, and felt a career in the media would be an area she would enjoy.
I wanted to make plans in advance, not be that athlete that got to the end and then worried ’what am I going to do next?’. I wanted to make my transition as smooth as possible.”
I think it helped that I found something that I enjoyed, so I could focus on what to do around it.”
Alex visited the PFA’s website and looked at some courses. She found that they funded a Sports Journalism degree, so got in contact with them straight away.
I sat down with Arsenal to see how we could manage it, it turned out to be an ideal situation for me to sign up to the course and it fitted alongside me being a professional footballer for Arsenal.
The course involved a long-term commitment, but Alex feels it was definitely worth it. Alex said:
It’s been hard work, I didn’t just appear overnight… I started my degree in 2012 and finished when I was playing at the World Cup with England in 2015. Sometimes people just see the end game and not the process that happens in between.”
Alex is passionate about her second career, experiencing the same enthusiasm and anticipation that she enjoyed on the pitch.
It’s just a different type of excitement. Actually… that is when I knew it I was ready to retire from football, because I was getting more excitement and energy leaving training and rushing to the studio.”
I am proud that I spent all those weekends when I was supposed to be off resting from football, going into studios to learn skills and be in that environment. It meant that when that time did come i.e. sitting at a World Cup – I was ready for it!”
I really enjoy it. I’m already looking forward to going into the studio, it’s just like when the whistle goes ready for kick off… the lights ‘ready, steady, camera, action’ and I get to talk about football.”
Reflecting on how she tackled the challenges of transition away from professional football, Scott is clear that preparation and planning was the key, as she explains:
I knew that I was retiring in my head for a while, but the actual day when I had to make the announcement it was so hard, there were tears with my family. I had been Alex Scott the footballer for so long, it’s a big part of your identity and it’s what you describe yourself as to other people.
Alex feels that the PFA was central to her smooth transition from her playing career to her new role – and would encouge other players in a similar situation to not hesitate in contacting PFA Education.
What I would say is… don’t wait until the that last day to put things in place, you don’t want to get that last day and think to yourself – ‘what am I going to do with my life?’”
It is signing up for a course or going to speak with people at the PFA to get some advice… just to get those wheels moving sooner rather than later.”