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Footballer prepares for switch to journalism

Coca Cola League Two player Gareth Owen is preparing for a switch to journalism by studying for a degree at Staffordshire University.

He is one of a clutch of players on the Professional Footballers’ Association course who are studying for when their playing careers are over.

The 25-year-old Stockport County defender has been taking time out from his busy training and match schedule to attend the two-year fast-track sports journalism and broadcasting degree.

The course, funded by the PFA, was spotted by the player himself, who was keen to become involved. He is currently at the half-way stage of the course which he chose ahead of studying physiotherapy and sports science.

Speaking to the Stockport Express last week, he talked about how much he was enjoying the course.

He said: “This course is a brilliant one, I love it. The practical stuff like writing articles and reading articles out on the radio is particularly interesting.”

Gareth, who signed for Stockport in the summer following a successful year-long loan spell from Oldham Athletic, was named the club’s player of the year last season.

Jumping at the chance to study journalism has proved an inspired choice, and Owen, whose current focus remains on football, is well aware of the opportunities available to him once his degree has finished.

He added: “Hopefully it’s going to be another string to my bow… you get a degree at the end of this journalism course and if any jobs did come up in the future, then maybe I’ll give it a go.”

There are currently several professional sportspeople taking the same course as Gareth, including former Nottingham Forest star and Notts County striker Jason Lee, and cricketers Will Smith and Steve Snell.