UEFA career transition programme prepares footballers for retirement
Two local footballers, Mr Henrico Botes and Ms Diina Shituula took part in a four-day UEFA Career Transition programme, sponsored by UEFA Assist and UEFA Academy in conjunction with Cosafa, from the 7 to 10 March 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The UEFA Career Transition programme is designed to take former professionals or current professional footballers nearing retirement through different second career options within football.
“Shituula and Botes met the requirements for this development programme funded by UEFA Assist and UEFA Academy, giving the duo additional career options to pursue in the beautiful game of football,” NFA’s General Secretary, Franco Cosmo said.
Asked what critical takeaways came from the UEFA Career Transition programme, Botes said, “apart from the variety of career choices available in football, we were exposed to, an important take away is how former players need to prepare themselves for retirement, both physically, psychologically and emotionally, to properly manage the implications of post-retirement loneliness,” former Brave Warriors and international footballer said.
The UEFA career transition programme assembled many football intellectuals from various COSAFA countries.
“This initiative enabled us to connect properly and create critical networks to gain more insight from the experts’ football has developed over the years in SADC. We are thus ready to plough back what we have learnt at this UEFA programme,” said Shituula, current player of the Brave Gladiators and retiring from football in 2023.
The NFA will continue to engage Shituula and Botes to develop and roll out a cascade strategy to accelerate a tracer study to find all Namibia’s retired professional footballers to ascertain their whereabouts, what they are currently doing and formulate recommendations on how the NFA can continue to inspire, motivate and expose them to other career opportunities football has on offer,” Cosmos concluded.