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Are you prepared? The football World Cup is here

All eyes turn to the Gulf state of Qatar next week as the FIFA World Cup 2022 gets underway.

Football’s showcase tournament is always brimming with action and drama, but this year’s edition has added interest as it brings the curtain down on the careers of two sporting icons – Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo.

We may never hear the end of the debate on which is the true GOAT (greatest of all time), but what is certain is that both have enough fame and fortune to last several lifetimes. After they hang up their boots, it’s safe to say that all doors will be open to the Barcelona and Real Madrid megastars.

But the overwhelming majority of professional soccer players won’t have such wealth or opportunity post-sport. Even those with life plans in place can face complex challenges as they enter the “normal” world of work.

Furthermore, Messi (aged 35) and Ronaldo (37) will be leaving football on their own terms. Change hits all the harder if playing days are brought to an end through injury. This is where Athlete Career Transition (ACT) steps in.

Athlete Career Transition

ACT gives athletes the help they need to move away from sport and into a second occupation they can be proud of.

ACT’s comprehensive support programme gives psychological guidance, skills development and coaching to ensure sports professionals make this critical transition smoothly and safely.

Athletes are matched with roles that align with personal drivers, and placed in corporate environments where they can continue to grow as elite performers.

Recent graduates of ACT’s pathway include:

Ben Polk

Economics graduate and USA footballer Ben Polk played for English sides Oxford United and Banbury United over a ten-year period. He returned Stateside in 2013 for spells with Orlando City B and Portland Timbers FC.

Ben teamed up with Alliance Bernstein in 2019, and is now an Associate at Bernstein Private Wealth Management, operating out of Seattle.

Simeon Akinola

Simeon Akinola’s ten-year career in professional football saw the wing-forward play for English clubs including Boreham Wood, Braintree Town, and Barnet.

Simeon holds a 1st Class Bachelor’s degree in Computer Systems Engineering. A fintech enthusiast, he is the founder of management and payment software company, Fade Technologies.

In October 2022, Simeon was appointed Dental Territory Business Manager at British healthcare multinational, Haleon.

Jack Stewart

Jack Stewart is a former Major League Soccer (MLS) player who appeared for Norwegian first-division team, Moss FK, as well as US-based clubs including Chicago Fire, Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas.

Jack holds degrees in Sociology and in Marketing, and recently joined tech manufacturing giant, Alkegen in the role of Field Sales Manager.

Joshua Calderon

As a pro football player, Joshua Calderon represented Puerto Rico seven occasions. On the domestic stage, Joshua turned out for clubs including Boca Gibraltar, Satelite Norte FC, and most recently Columbian first division team, America de Cali.

Trained in sales, marketing and operations strategy, Joshua was recently appointed Dental Territory Business Manager at Haleon, and is based in Manhattan.

Not every footballer will be lifting the Jules Rimet trophy this year. With decades of sector experience, ACT’s transition support package allows all former athletes to become champions whatever their chosen career path may be.


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