Posted by RLPA
Career Development: Lachlan Fitzgibbon
The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) has launched a content series promoting career development opportunities for players and the importance of planning for life after footy.
The Career Development Q&A will each week feature a player who has engaged in meaningful development opportunities away from the field, providing an insight for other players and the industry about their journey.
The content series also highlights academic achievements from within the playing group, many of which have utilised the support available through the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education program.
Part 11 of the Career Development Q&A features Newcastle Knights player and RLPA Delegate, Lachlan Fitzgibbon.
Q1 What off field development are you completing or have completed?
I completed my Bachelor of Construction Management (Honours) at the University of Newcastle in 2019.
Q2 Why did you choose this field?
Originally I wanted to complete and obtain a carpentry apprenticeship/ trade whilst training in the Knights’ Under 20s competition. Unfortunately, due to a shoulder injury I was unable to work for a prolonged period, so I decided to study whilst playing instead. Doing Construction Management meant that I was still about to stay in the field of Construction.
Q3 Did you always have this career path in mind?
Yeah, I always thought I would be doing something around property or construction. I still enjoy the hands-on work of renovations.
Q4 Have you utilised any support available to players through the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education program?
Yes – plenty of educational grants across the 6+ years I was studying.
Q5 What plans or goals do you have for post-retirement?
My goals would include hopefully having a property portfolio, as well as having a great job working in the Construction/Building industry.
Q6 If you could give yourself one piece of career advice back in your rookie year what would it be?
Take in as much information as you can whether it be on the field or off the field. Good advice from people you trust is also key!
Q7 How important is it for players and the industry to prioritise career development opportunities?
In my opinion, it is vital for the transition out of Rugby League post career. Having something to ‘fall back on’ makes for a smooth transition post-NRL.
Q8 How have the skills you have developed through playing NRL helped with your educational development?
Patience. My career was not as fast and immediate as others. I didn’t really cement a position in the NRL until about 23. Which was my third year in first grade. Patience for myself to finish my degree as it took over six years.
Q9 How important is having the support of your coach and football staff when pursuing education options?
It is greatly important. The understanding of both coach and football/education staff I believe is vital for completion and continual study. Flexibility and understanding between coaching staff and players makes for a smooth study/training routine.
Q10 Was there a time you felt like giving up on your studies and if so, what helped you keep going?
Not really, I was studying with a good friend of mine which helped. I also knew that I would need something to do in my post-football career.
Q11 What is something you are currently doing away from the field that you are most proud of? (e.g. career related activity, community work, supporting a charity or something people might not know about you)
Away from football I enjoy the practical side of building. I’ve recently completed renovating a house with a friend and I am in the process of doing another.
Stay tuned for next week’s Career Development Q&A and check out the first 10 articles with members of the RLPA Player Advisory Group and more below!