Bolton Wanderers Captain Kevin Davies and Burnley Captain Clarke Carlisle visited the Bolton Arena this week to show their support for the Competitive Edge Live careers events.
This unique careers and recruitment fair was tailored to unite elite athletes and students of all ages looking to progress their sport, leisure or tourism career.
In good spirits, despite Wanderers 4–0 reverse to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light the previous evening, Davies was upbeat about the ethos of Competitive Edge Live and recognised the need for it within the football calendar.
Speaking to LFE Online during his visit to the venue on Tuesday, he said:
“This type of event wasn’t available in my days as an Apprentice at Chesterfield so you can see the advancements that the industry has now made. It should be hugely valuable to the youngsters who attend over the two days, because it gives them all a chance to think about what they might do if the football doesn’t work out.”
“It’s pleasing to see so many Clubs and young players here and it opens your eyes to the good work that LFE and The PFA do which in the main goes un-reported.”
“Certainly today has been an eye-opener for me personally. I probably wasn’t aware of the breadth of support that is available to players if they are released.”
“My brother was released by Chesterfield a few years ago and I’ve seen numerous others leave the game in the past without having much of a plan of their next step forward. I can only praise the work that LFE and The PFA do because it seems to me like they are tackling this issue extremely well I just hope that players engage with this and maximise their own opportunities.”
(Clarke Carlisle pictured with Katharine Merry)
Clarets defender Clarke Carlisle payed a visit to the Bolton Arena on Wednesday and has already started planning for when his own playing days come to an end having enrolled to start a BA(Hons) in Sports Journalism at Staffordshire University later this year.
Speaking at Competitive Edge Live, he has urged all young players to make the same considerations about their futures as early as possible;
“I’m a bit of an exception to the rule because when I started at Blackpool on a YTS as it was then, I didn’t think that I would get a contract and I was actually looking more at the chance to go out to the USA on a football scholarship.”
“Since that time I’ve become proficient in another language while playing first-team football and I’m now looking to become qualified as a Sports Journalist. I may or may not go in to the media but by doing the qualification it gives me a better chance of securing my own and my families future.”
“The failure rate in football is around 85-90% by the time you get to the age of 21, so young players need to make sure that they can move on and train in other areas so that is why services like today are invaluable.”
“There’s no point in waiting or holding back on what you’re going to do next, get out there and dip your toe in water to see what other opportunities there are.”
(Kevin Davies image [top] courtesy of Dan Matthews)