The Men of League Foundation and the National Rugby League (NRL) have announced the appointment of Michael Buettner to the newly created, collaborative role of NRL Alumni Manager.
This unique, new partnership between Men of League and the NRL, to support retiring NRL players as they transition out of the game and into new careers, is a groundbreaking development for both organisations.
Michael’s posting as NRL Alumni Manager will see him draw on his experience as a former professional rugby league player, his role as Game Liaison Manager for the NRL and his heavy involvement in education, welfare and administration within the NRL to develop leading programs which enhance processes for players within the game.
In his new role, Michael will be charged with addressing the gap in support for retired players. Operating out of Men of League’s corporate head office at ANZ Stadium, Michael will work to help retired players create strong links and access continuous support in the form of career counselling, education, emotional and mental health support, financial assistance and welfare. He will also play a lead role in increasing mentor opportunities and strong ambassadors for the next generation of players coming through the ranks.
Michael Buettner, newly appointed NRL Alumni Manager said, “I am looking forward to getting my teeth into this new role, bringing my experience as a player who has been through the retirement process and extensive experience working in various roles within rugby league to the table.
“Having ‘walked the walk’, so to speak will be a big plus in this role.
“It excites me to be part of what is a brand new chapter for professional sport. Even the NFL in the USA has only just recently started looking at the transition processes around retired players. I am confident that in this role, I will help cement Men of League, the NRL and the Rugby League Players Association’s position as pioneers in this area, developing programs never before seen in Australia or around the world.
“I have been a member of the Men of League Foundation for as long as I can remember, joining back in my playing days. It is a fantastic organisation for which I am proud to be a part and I am honoured to have the opportunity to combine my passion for the game and player welfare with the leading sporting charity in Australia.”
Corene Strauss, Chief Executive Officer of Men of League said, “These are exciting days for Men of League and we are thrilled to welcome Michael to our ranks and to be working with the NRL in this new capacity.
“The vision to invest in this national position will see both our organisations commit significant resources to deliver on our commitment to support NRL players.
“The creation of the Alumni program will play an integral role in contemporising the Men of League Foundation, in terms of the range of services and support we can offer, it will make the organisation more relevant than ever before – improving and expanding the ways in we can work to protect and enhance the lives of those in the rugby league community – all under the direction and expertise of Michael Buettner.”
Paul Heptonstall, NRL Welfare and Education Manager said, “The game is doing a lot of career development work with current NRL players in preparing them for transition but until they actually make that decision to retire it is all considered practice. Having a dedicated person that the NRL Clubs and NRL can hand over this management to completes the service.”
Michael Buettner will commence in the role 8 September.