From UK Football to classrooms...

Ben Smith

Having left behind the frenzy prevailing on the last day of transfers, several European teams invited to fill gaps in their roster with players who are available in the free market.

Several lines are devoted to sports newspapers and websites for cases of players who are in the twilight of their careers and are looking for probably one last good contract.

Among these footballers that searching for a club to continue their career, will not be Ben Smith.

After 17 years in professional football, played in Arsenal, Reading, Yeovil, Hereford, Shrewsbury and Crowley, the 33 year old English man decided to leave the football to its own terms.

For the first time after so many years, the new football season will not find him in the stadiums of England, but in some classrooms. On Monday Ben Smith made ​​his debut as a professor of business administration at Maltings Academy in Essex.

The BBC website gave him the opportunity to speak about his experience about how it feels to start a new job in a completely different object.

"I knew that this moment would come someday, so the last four or five years I completed a degree in business administration and obtained a coaching diploma from Uefa.
During the last season i was going to a school as a volunteer and eventually I was offered a job there.

I had no relationship with education since I finished school at 16, without any asset but decided to start at a school that would give me some flexibility.
The way I got my degree in a nutshell sums up the life of a footballer because I ended up studying in three different places.

I left Shrewsbury to compete in Weymouth on loan and then transcribed in Hereford before writing the thesis of my time that I was in Crowley.
All colleges and professors were always willing to help but with my continuously movements would be more easier for me to quit.

At the end of last season it was clear that I would not be offered a new contract by Crowley as I spent much of the season on loan. At this age it is hard to earn the money you want at the right team and i didn't want to move on somewhere else only for 1 year.

When you're 24 or 25, a good year can change your career, but at 33 nothing is going to happen. This period was characterized by uncertainty as i was preparing for a new career, and several of the applications did not recognized.

I believe that football offers you many skills that are transferable and many employers may use. We can work in a team, we are dedicated, disciplined and can work under pressure.

But few employers appreciate this. Of course I know players my age who have no training. They are used to a good salary even when fighting in groups of smaller classes and try to maintain this lifestyle for another year.

Even in a League One player can earn 40.000 to 45.000 pounds per year. In my new life i would work the triple hours than a footballer and will not even get near these amounts. I'm worried, I do not know really what to expect but I can't wait to begin.

The kids at school already know about my football career. I had the career that I dreamed since I went to Arsenal in my 16? No. But to live from football for 17 years is an achievement.

As for my new school, they're going to throw me deep early on. And this is not much different than going to a new team on Thursday and on Sunday to struggle in front of thousands of fans."

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