Former Queensland and Tasmania all-rounder, Simon Milenko, had a different pathway into the professional system than most.
Prior to becoming a professional cricketer, Simon spent four years working for KPMG, becoming a chartered accountant. This provided Simon with an insight to the world of business and the knowledge of where he would venture when he called time on his days as a professional cricketer.
“I didn’t quite want to go back into accounting, I was much more interested in transitioning out of cricket and going into the operations side of business. Running a business, managing a business, that side of things, that interest was always there in the background.”
An opportunity with ICON arose later in Simon’s playing career in Tasmania.
The ACA Work Placement program, allows players to work within businesses or industries for one week, to enhance career development and to build players’ networks, and for Simon it was invaluable.
“It was my opportunity while I was still playing in Tasmania to learn much more about ICON and the intricacies of the brand itself.
“Once I moved back to Queensland, I was as prepared as possible to dive right into it having spent time with and developed close contact with those who were going to be important for me to run the Queensland office of this business.”
“As the end came nearer in my cricket career, things became more serious and I bought into the business.”
Simon now owns ICON Sports Queensland. While ACA members might be familiar with the cricket arm of the ICON Sports business, its primary form of revenue comes from apparel for grassroots sporting clubs around Australia as well as schools and businesses.
Milenko joins a host of ACA Members who are either franchise owners or stakeholders of the ICON Sports company and upskilled themselves while on contract to hold their respective positions.
Simon says the support of the ACA has been important during his transition from cricket.
“It was great to able to go into this work experience which I might’ve done anyway but actually get paid and recognised for what I was doing, which was really nice to have.”
“There’s been ongoing support from the ACA too. It’s not that I’ve needed it yet, but knowing it is there if I were to need it, is really good.”