Defender earns a First Class Degree
Many professional sportsmen and women worry about what they are going to do when their career comes to an end and if it’s an injury which brings a premature conclusion then this may occur at an early stage.
Schools today strongly advise potential professionals to achieve their best possible qualifications before they leave compulsory education and football academies insist that youngsters hoping for a future professional contract must attend college as part of their contract.
However, at 18 it is up to the player to make a decision as to whether he continues with his education in the time he has away from the football stadium.
Someone who decided a few years ago to keep on learning in an academic sense is our own Gareth Owen.
With excellent GCSE and “A” level grades to build on Gareth has been studying “Professional Sports Writing and Broadcasting” at Staffordshire University in his spare time and has just learned he has been awarded a First Class degree.
Considering the pressure on his time to complete assignments and essays this is a brilliant achievement.
So will Gareth rest on his laurels? Unlikely. He has already sat in on PE lessons at the Co-op Academy at Brownhills and is working with the youth team at Port Vale-he will also be working as a tutor in the new academy starting in September.
There are also possibilities of an MA under discussion particularly if the PFA came up with a topic they would like examining and reporting on.
As an important member of the PFA committee Gareth is keen that all footballers plan for their futures and take advice on what courses they could consider.
There are at least two other members of the first team studying for degrees and they are fortunate in having Gareth around for guidance and advice on how to achieve their goals.