PLAN­NING AHEAD

Cam­bridge United striker Rob­bie Simp­son on his new busi­ness idea

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By David John

FOOT­BALL ca­reers are short and play­ers of­ten fail to plan for the fu­ture – but Cam­bridge United striker Rob­bie Simp­son aims to change all that.

The for­mer Coven­try City striker grad­u­ated from Lough­bor­ough Univer­sity in 2007 with a sports sci­ence and math­e­mat­ics de­gree and feels that more pro­fes­sional sports play­ers need to have qual­i­fi­ca­tions they can rely on when they fin­ish play­ing full-time.

En­cour­age

Simp­son is so pas­sion­ate about the is­sue he is set­ting up a busi­ness for cur­rent sport­ing per­son­nel and exs­tars from all ar­eas of sport to plan for the fu­ture.

His new busi­ness is called Life Af­ter Pro­fes­sional Sport, or LAPS for short, and the 30year-old told The FLP: “It is a web­site-based busi­ness and the idea is that I’ll go to first teams, un­der-21 teams and youth teams and en­cour­age play­ers to sign up as mem­bers.

“They will reg­is­ter their in­ter­est in dif­fer­ent job sec­tors and we will help them, while they are still play­ing, to gain qual­i­fi­ca­tions that might help them in the long-run to get jobs in those sec­tors.

“We will help them write CVs and the web­site will have job ad­ver­tise­ments on it as well, so they can look at what is avail­able.”

The for­mer Cam­bridge City man be­lieves it’s vi­tal that young play­ers start to gain qual­i­fi­ca­tions as early as pos­si­ble.

“There are lots of un­der-21 teams, but there are proba- bly only two or three play­ers that are go­ing to make it in each team so I think it’s a mas­sive is­sue,” he said.

“I know there are more and more peo­ple like my­self and Matt Smith (Ful­ham), who are do­ing de­grees while play­ing Non-League foot­ball, but it is still not enough.”

De­spite al­ready hav­ing some fund­ing for his new busi­ness ven­ture, Simp­son says he has sev­eral po­ten­tial in­vestors lined up who are will­ing to help take LAPS to the next level.

Is­sue

The U’s for­ward be­lieves he and his re­cruit­ment team will have ev­ery­thing up and run­ning in Septem­ber.

“I’m a foot­baller, so peo­ple might as­sume that this is just for foot­ballers, but it is for other sports peo­ple as well,” he added.

“Hav­ing done the re­search, it is clearly a big is­sue for sports peo­ple to find jobs af­ter they fin­ish play­ing.”

LIFE AF­TER SPORT: Cam­bridge’s Rob­bie Simp­son, above, is look­ing ahead

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