PFA - 23rd May 2024 - PFA launch residential camp for Out-of-Contract Players

PFA - 23rd May 2024 - PFA launch residential camp for Out-of-Contract Players

23 May 2024

The PFA has announced details of a new 10-week residential pre-season camp for out-of-contract players.

Designed to provide players with an elite club pre-season environment, the pre-season camps will be hosted by the PFA and made available to unsigned players from the men’s and women’s games.

Each week-long session will offer players high-intensity, on-pitch training and fixtures led by the PFA’s specialist coaching team, alongside strength and conditioning sessions and access to the PFA’s range of personal development services.

To help players maximise opportunities to secure new deals for the 2024/25 season, scouts will attend the camps throughout the summer period to meet players and observe the sessions.

The new 10-week programme is an extension of the successful pilot camps the PFA held last summer. The camps, which received excellent feedback from players, resulted in many participants going on to sign new deals with league clubs before the start of the season.

One of the PFA members who took part in last year’s camp is goalkeeper Michael Kelly, who subsequently signed with MK Dons and went on to end the season playing in the League Two play-offs.

The scheme has been backed by Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe, who has played or managed in the Premier League and at every level of the EFL.

Eddie Howe said: “This is a great initiative from the PFA and one I think will help a lot of players.

“It can be a really tough time for players if they’ve been released or are looking for a new club, especially lower down the pyramid.

“I’ve played and managed at that level and there’s not a lot of long-term security. We’re all lucky to be involved in the game but when you have that uncertainty it doesn’t just impact you but your family too – you’ve got a lot to think about in terms of where you’re living, your kids being in school, all these things.

“When pre-season starts in clubs that can be when it begins to feel real for those who maybe haven’t got a new deal yet. They’ll suddenly feel like they are on the outside looking in.

“You can try to do a lot of the work yourself, but that can be mentally tough. There’s no substitute for being around other players and having that structured football environment where you’re being pushed.

“There are a lot of players who will really benefit from this as a way of giving them the best chance of staying ready for when the next opportunity comes.”

The new expanded pre-season programme is fully funded by the union and has been developed with the support of the PFA Players’ Board, a leadership group made up of current and former members, who work with the PFA executive team to help set the union’s priorities.

Registration will be open to any player who held a professional contract with a Premier League, EFL or WSL contract during the 2023/24 season.