Release Date: 19/09/2012
When Stephen Whelan hung up his football boots there was only one direction he wanted to take. After a playing career boasting spells at Portadown, Lisburn Distillery and winning medals with Glenavon, Stephen went onto develop a successful career by holding numerous positions as the Head of Talent Identification in England at QPR, Oldham Athletic and Colchester United.
Stephen, however, is now using all of his experience and contacts within the game and is pursuing a career as a player agent. Upon passing his FIFA Agents Exam in September 2010, Stephen is in a somewhat unique position as he can provide information and advice to players as he was once a player in their position himself, who has gone on to study extensively and gain vital experience off the football field as well as on it.
Since his involvement in the Player Agency profession Stephen has worked with and assisted in contract negotiations with some of the elite players and managers in football and boasts an impressive client list of players he represents. This is where he believes his experiences as a player are vital.
“Having been in the position of my own clients can create a great understanding and perspective when I act as their agent. As a player I used to negotiate my own contracts, and I believe this gives me a real edge when helping my clients.”
Stephen, who was the only candidate to successfully pass the exam when he sat it in September 2010, has stated what the exam was like and how much work was involved in passing such a thorough and extensive examination.
“The test was very tough and consisted of twenty questions. Fifteen are set by FIFA and an additional five set by the Irish Football Association with a time limit of 90 minutes. The questions are extremely complex with a number of regulations and legislations to take into account upon answering. The first obstacle in addressing each question is the level of detail involved, then once this has been considered you must understand how it relates to the law of the game. Not only from FIFA but from the Irish Football Association too,” explained Stephen.
“I spent a considerable amount of time revising and preparing for the exam and understanding the laws and ruling systems that would be a factor in the questions. I also took a full week from work to focus solely on my preparations for the exam.”
Stephen feels that agents in football are a bit misunderstood and aims to alter the perception of the industry with the way he works for his clients.
“Every player I represent can be guaranteed that will I work extremely hard for them in terms of contact with clubs, contracts, negotiations and commercial dealings,” he said.
“I am already experienced in the world of sports & entertainment and understand the pressures, problems and rewards that will be part of my clients professional and personal lives. At the end of the day the players’ welfare and future is paramount and my job is to allow them to develop their talents and abilities without any interference from any external distractions. In other words they take care of business on the field and I will take care of business off it.
“I am particularly keen to speak to parents and guardians of players who are in the process of negotiating with clubs or who have a number of options from clubs in or beginning their journey across the water as this is where I can add real value and experience for their benefit and the future of the player’’ added Stephen.
Anyone wishing to speak to Stephen can contact him on 07720782831 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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