Throughout his twenty-year professional career, Michael Klinger always understood the value of preparing for life after cricket.
Recently completing a Masters in Business and Sport Management, Klinger identified that he required more experience in other environments as he approached the end of his career.
“I had finished my Masters, and was very much interested in getting into the high performance and sport admin side of sport,” Klinger said.
“I had already had a fair bit of experience in coaching, especially in the UK, so I wanted to explore more of a management area.
“Having been involved in cricket for so long, I was keen on going into a different sport, and AFL was something I was very interested in.”
Klinger decided that he would pursue an ACA Beyond the Boundary placement, as a method to discovering whether this would be an avenue worth pursuing post-career.
The ACA Beyond the Boundary program, allows players to work within businesses or industries for one week, to enhance career development and to build players’ networks.
Klinger was placed at Melbourne Football Club, within their Football Department.
“Melbourne were unbelievable,” Klinger said.
“They literally gave me access to the whole football department; access to all of the meetings from management and admin side, to all the coaching, strategy and match committee meetings as well.”
“I learnt a lot from both sides of the department really.
“It was great to see how the Football Department runs with the two different aspects, management and coaching.
“I was able to sit in the box for a Casey game with coach Jayde Rawlings, which was a great experience, to see how all your preparations during the week come out in a match scenario.”
Coupled with four months of previous work experience at the WA Institute of Sport (WAIS), Klinger asserted that this paid-placement was extremely valuable for his career development.
“You often don’t get the chance to do these work experience opportunities while playing cricket,” he said.
“So now for players to be able to tap into this resource, to build up experience, whether you are at the beginning of your career, or at the end like myself, it can certainly open your eyes to new things.”
“I pursued this not only to build up my experience, but also to make sure it is what I want to do.
“And certainly, now after a week at Melbourne and my time at WAIS, working in a high-pressure elite sport environment is something that I have now decided that I want to do going forward.
Klinger said the Beyond the Boundary program was an important resource, that players should tap into.
“Anytime you can get outside your own bubble as a professional cricketer is a good thing,” Klinger said.
“Things like the Beyond the Boundary placements can keep you grounded, and gives you an insight in what other people are doing outside the bubble of professional sport.
“I think these placements makes things clearer for players, giving you a strong idea whether it is something you want to pursue down the track.”