Ex Peterborough forward Aaron McLean calls on PFA to do more to help players

Former footballer turned pundit Aaron McLean has called on the Players Football Association to do more to help players.

McLean, who retired in 2018, is one of the lucky players who found work post-playing career, first as a coach and now as a freelance broadcaster.

But the five-time England C international knows far too many ex-pros who have struggled after hanging up their boots.

I’ve seen a lot of people that have struggled with mental health or finances, who have had very good careers, just because that’s all I’ve ever known.

“The PFA are there for when something goes wrong, but I don’t think there’s enough done in terms of prevention.

“That is where we really need to focus on so that people don’t have to hit rock bottom before they try and seek help.

“We need to create an environment where players don’t end up falling into that category in the first place.”

The 38-year-old enjoyed a 19-year career which saw him play throughout the leagues from National League to Premier League.

His relationships built during that time helped him transition to becoming a coach at Ebbsfleet United, where he played from 2016- 2018, before spending two years as a coach with Peterborough.

At the start of the Covid-19, McLean became a footballing causality of the pandemic when he was let go by The Posh relieved him of his duties as a first-team coach.

“The clubs that I’ve played for in the past have been welcoming in bringing me in and given me opportunities to learn my trade in coaching.

“Unfortunately, that’s not a luxury for everyone and even though my relationship with them was probably the best, I still lost my job due to COVID.”

A chance interview with Sky Sports about the impact the global pandemic was having on football helped McLean land his next gig.

“I did an interview with Sky talking about how COVID affecting football and the producers liked the way I presented on camera.

“They asked me if I’d be interested in coming in to do some commentary and to watch some games. It just took off from there.”