By Alex Whiting
AT 31-years-of-age Pat Baldwin is still a young man - but in football terms, he is getting on and the end of his playing days are on the horizon.
Baldwin has plied his trade at St James since 2012 and numerous clubs before that, and while he remains fully committed to the club he knows he will not be at Exeter forever.
This has led to the Grecians defender evaluating and planning his future ventures - and as an ambitious man he has already started working towards that time.
Baldwin is currently enrolled on the Professional Sports Writing course at Staffordshire University in preparation for life after playing football, although he is not yet clear on what exactly he wants to when that time comes.
The ex-Chelsea youth player said: “I could possibly go into teaching and I would like to be a coach but also the more I'm doing (during his course) the more interested I am in possibly getting into television so I am looking to get more experience.
“I decided to plan for my future in football quite early on in my career as I have seen some of my friends that have gone out of the game and done very little afterwards and fallen into bankruptcy, which opened my eyes. Some of my mates have been through really tough times and they told me to prepare and my parents have always been a driving force and my wife is very supportive.”
Baldwin has noticed a huge upsurge in media analysis and punditry and knows that this may offer an opening for him to further his career in football.
“There seems to be more and more media coverage of sport and the knowledge of the pundits and the information presented is becoming bigger and bigger.
“There is more and more demand for television analysis with all of the companies trying to outdo each other so the amount of coverage given to football matches is just going to increase. The coverage and analysis is so big it is bigger than any one person’s opinion and it is now a huge part of football that creates talking points up and down the country.”
Pat is working hard towards a career in the media but he is also taking note of those currently in the industry be it good or bad. “I am doing all I can to prepare, on the course I am doing media law and I am taking into consideration all of the advice given to me.
“I really admire Jamie Redknapp he has a real in-depth knowledge of the game and a cohesive screen presence. Their personality and presence is why they are given the job, that's what the viewers want to see, there has been a lot of people complaining about how Michael Owen comes across as boring whereas Redknapp or someone like Gary Neville has a strong personality and has been a success.”