AFC Wimbledon's Academy successfully hosted a Careers Fair yesterday with 90 young footballers taking valuable advice about life after the game.
Former Premier League striker Leon McKenzie, who works for LAPS (Life After Professional Sport), was among those to give inspirational speeches to young players from Wimbledon, Fulham, Luton Town, Millwall, and QPR. Leon is pictured second from right above with LAPS colleague Terry Moor (far right) and Dons academy players Tino Carpene (far left) and Reuben Collins.
Experienced Dons centre-back Paul Robinson, plus Jon Meades, talked to footballers at the event that was also attended by the PFA (Professional Footballers' Association), LFE (League Football Education), plus representatives from Loughborough University, UCFB, and other organisations.
In his speech, Paul Robinson said: "First and foremost, all of you want to be professional footballers, but I think we've also seen the reality that some of you might not make it, others may taste it for a while, and some of you might make it until you are 36. In the real world, I've seen players who I thought may go on and play in the Premier League, but they have suffered injuries, and others have fallen by the wayside.
"The message we try to bring to you is that there is also the real world out there. Football is an amazing bubble to be involved in, but you are coming towards that age when you have to take responsibility as young men and ownership of your own lives, so days like today are fantastic for you. There are potential employees offering other opportunities if things do not go the right way for you. I hope for all of you it does, but if it doesn't, there are other options out there. It is important that you maximise days like today because if football doesn't happen, you still give yourself ownership that football shaped your life, even though it may not have been your life."
Click on the link below to watch a video all about the event with Rob Cornell conducting the interviews.