Rob Hulse played over 350 league games during a 15-year career, but following retirement has had a complete change of direction, working as a physiotherapist in the NHS.

Rob Hulse played over 350 league games during his career which saw him play for Crewe Alexandra, West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Derby County, Queens Park Rangers and Charlton Athletic.

Since retirement, Hulse has had a complete change of career direction and is now working as a physiotherapist in the NHS.

It wasn’t until Hulse hit his thirties that he started to think about his career after football and with the help of the PFA he started planning for his second career:

“I think I was ready for a change, ready for a new challenge.

“For me personally (and everyone is different), I just needed a complete break, I thought the best way for me to get over the loss of a career, was just to start a new one.”

Hulse thrived when back in education, obtaining a first-class honours degree and finishing top of the year group, but in hindsight he acknowledges he could have made things easier for himself if he had started back earlier: 

“At first it was a bit of struggle, I’d been out of education since I left school, so since I was sixteen.

“I’d not really done that much up until the time I retired, and thinking about it now, it would have made life a lot easier if I’d have just dipped in and just done little stuff in between that phase.”

Hulse explained: “The PFA helped me with the transition, helped me to identify the courses that enabled me to undertake the degree at university.

“The PFA then worked with me to help with placements and financing the course as well.”

Asked for his advice to current players, Hulse is clear - identify your passion and start planning the next steps as early as possible:

“You’ve got to find something that you love or that interests you.”

“There is no point you watching this and thinking ‘that’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to be a physio’ you’d just be wasting your time… 

“You need to find something that you love, something that you are passionate about and that will make life so much easier for your learning.”

“There is life after football, start planning, start thinking about what you want to do and then go for it!”