In this latest episode of PFATV we join former Arsenal defender Alex Scott on the set of BBC’s Final Score.
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.
Speaking to Leon Mann, the former England international gives us an insight into the planning, support and hard work that prepared her for a career in the media…
Scott explained: “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? How am I going to pay the bills? What is next?’
“I wanted to make my transition as smooth as possible.
“I think it helped that I found something that I enjoyed, so I then looked what I could do around it.
“I went on to the PFA’s website and looked at some courses and found that they funded a Sports Journalism degree, so I 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.”
“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.”
Dion Dublin on set with Alex Scott...
Listening to Alex, it’s clear that she is passionate about her second career, experiencing the same enthusiasm and anticipation that she got 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.
Asked how she tackled the challenges of transition away from professional football, Scott is clear that preparation and planning was the key…
“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.
“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?’”
Scott concludes: “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.”