Broncos are going back to the classroms

Dale Copley

Life after football can sometimes be a worrisome time for any footballer, but at the Brisbane Broncos, they have that plan mapped out – with all players from all grades, expected to enrol in some form of higher education from the 2013 season.

Scott Czislowski, the Broncos Player Welfare Manager, said that all players will be engaged in some form of study next season.

“Every player next year who is on our books, whether they are under-20s or first grade, will be doing some sort of course towards a career path after football,” he said.

“This year at the Broncos we’ve got 17 players in our National Youth Cup and first grade at university. That is courses from engineering and pharmacy to business.

“We start working with the guys from day one to try and get a pathway for when they’re finished.

“When they’re young, they say, `I’m a footballer and that’s all I’ve got to worry about’, but we try to stress to them it’s really important to have that career path for when football does finish.

“I’ve been here for six years and it’s really improved.”

Whilst the Broncos are not the first team to employ this initiative, most clubs are going down this path, setting up their players for life after footy – with the NRL subsidising fees, for those players who enrol in courses.

Darren Lockyer, a Broncos legend who is now retired, says that the initiative to have players ready for life after football by studying, should be applauded.

“It’s about making players aware their footy career won’t last forever,” Lockyer said. “The money that they’re earning now won’t last forever.

“Not every player will just slide into that next stage of their life easily.

“We need to work hard at preparing them for it.”

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