A big question that I am asked all the time about playing overseas is, what kind of things should I expect from a team, and this is never an easy answer. Now there will be individual article about all of these things in the future, but here I will lay out an overview to some of the basics that you should expect from a team as far as contracts and accommodation.
An apartment and a car is usually a good standard. This is the very basic that will tell you a few things about a team such as their connections, budget, and professionalism. Of course there are teams who will maybe ask you to pay a little for the car or for the apartment, and they might even help you find an apartment, but I don’t find that very professional, because when you know nothing about the country you will play in, the last thing you want to do is start to worry about taxes, bills and all those kind of things. So make sure these 2 things are paid for and ready for your arrival.
Food! And this is a pretty big one, because this will literally save you a lot of money. Now the team providing you with a few meals a week is not a deal-breaker, but it does help out a lot! Personally in the first 10 seasons of my pro career I had 2 seasons where the team provided my meals, and it was such a relief. It was a relief for 2 reasons, 1 because you don’t have to worry about cooking and buying food in a new country, but also because you usually make friends with the people at that particular restaurant. And yes, the team team usually provides you with meal vouchers to a restaurant, and the restaurant is usually a sponsor of the team as well.
The next thing that is super important is the the team handles your health insurance. Now every country is different and if you are from America this will be a big shock to you, but health insurance in other countries is usually as simple as having a health card which is usually accepted everywhere, and your team should provide you with one. This is important that you find out about this before you start training and practicing, because you don’t want to get a serious injury in a new country and not know what do to get yourself fixed up.
Another very important thing to be sure of, is your visa situation. Most teams will know about this, but just to be sure it is best to double check and make sure that your visa is up to date, and more importantly to know when you have to leave the country, meaning how long will you be allowed to stay in the country after your season is finished.
A bank, now of course this is important for obvious reasons, but this can be a very very difficult process from my experience. Before setting up a bank in other countries, there are so many rules and regulations and things that you will be unaware of, so I highly recommend having a representative from your team to go with you to set up the process.
Now of course I didn’t talk about money or anything like that, because that is an obvious, but these things in this post are the basic things that will you should be on the lookout for when speaking to agents and teams. Having these things will also get you started on your new team and new courtly a lot more smooth and hassle free. Hope that helped you, and I wish you all the best of luck!