A new life in coaching is not an easy process, but you can certainly make a name for yourself in it.
For some it might not be as glamorous as working as a television pundit or doing a stint as an assistant coach at one of the top clubs.
For others, it might require a few years away from football to become involved in the sport.
And in all of them, the experience is a long-lasting one.
For many of the former players who were on the brink of retirement, the decision to return to football has been the best decision they’ve ever made.
“It was the most important thing I could do.
It made me a better person, a better athlete, a stronger person, and I was able to make the sacrifices I needed to make to do it,” says Daniel Jones, who played with England’s Under-19s from 2003 to 2006.
Daniel, a former Manchester United and Wales Under-20 international, was recruited by Liverpool in 2009 as an apprentice to the club’s head of recruitment, Graham Poll.
“He had just been brought in by Liverpool and they were really trying to keep me there.
They said that I had a good chance of being a manager and that they wanted me to take a look at coaching and I said yes, I’d do that,” he says.
“So I came back and I started working as an advisor and I’m still at the club now.”
Jones, who was once a regular on the Reds’ coaching team, says that after his return to the game, he was approached by a number of clubs who were interested in bringing him back to the Premier League.
“I’m always surprised by how many clubs are still interested in coaching, because I know a lot of people who were just going to leave it and go to another job,” he explains.
“Some of the big clubs have really made it clear that they want to keep you, and if you’re not interested then they’ll find someone else.”
I got the phone call from a club in England in March 2016 and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be back playing football again.’
“I’ve got to say that’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
I’d like to think that I’ve done my part, but I’ve got a few more things to do.”
But as Jones was nearing the end of his coaching career, he says that the reality of a coaching career was taking its toll.
“You’ve got the time off to look after yourself and your family, but at the same time you’re getting up at six in the morning thinking, ‘This is it, I can’t believe I’m about to do this again.'”
I think that’s where my brain went, and that’s what I struggled with most.
I’ve had to re-examine my mindset a bit.
Daniel’s decision to take up coaching at his own leisure was a decision he made for himself, not a necessity. “
Then you’ve got no time to think about other things.”
Daniel’s decision to take up coaching at his own leisure was a decision he made for himself, not a necessity.
“You never know what might happen to you.
If you’ve been working for years, you might not see the best days of your career.
So you’ve had time to be yourself, to figure things out, and to get through it and have fun again,” he laughs.”
I was really happy to be part of that.””
For me, it was a real positive.
I was really happy to be part of that.”