Wayne Rooney has revealed that his main ambition after retiring from playing is to pursue a managerial career.
The 32-year-old departed Old Trafford over the summer to rejoin boyhood club Everton after a difficult season that nevertheless saw him become the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
And he has played an important talismanic role in a topsy turvy season for the Toffees, claiming 11 goals and three assists so far.
Speaking to Jamie Carragher in an interview for the Telegraph, Rooney explained how he always felt suited to coaching.
“The main thing I want to have a go at is management,” he said.
“I would love to stay at Everton in a coaching role or hopefully manager one day. It is something I want to do – to stay involved, but if that is not possible I will look to see where the opportunities are for me. I am determined to become a manager.
“From next season I want to be doing some coaching sessions with the Under 14s at Everton. It would be good to have all my badges by the time I have finished, but it is also about having the chance to carry on when I have so I can get straight into coaching.”
“Obviously my first objective is to do well as a player over the next few years. Then I hope the role can grow into something beyond that. It is something I will talk about with the club when they and I feel the time is right.
“It was Neil Bailey at Manchester United who started me on the ‘B’ licence. We brought in a school from Ashton in Manchester and I coached them at United’s training ground. I took the session on my own and found it very natural. I have never been shy to get up and speak in front of my team mates or anyone. It was comfortable.”
Rooney’s appearance on Monday Night Football earlier this week was met with plenty of praise for the Englishman’s observations and seemingly relaxed on-camera persona.
And yet, in similar fashion to Paul Scholes, you sensed that this wasn’t his natural – or preferred – environment. Rooney has only wanted to be on the pitch – the place that has been home to him for longer, and in more ways, than any actual domicile.
The former skipper flagged on a technical and physical level during the latter stages of his career but notably never hid from the spotlight, never stopped giving everything, and developed a greater understanding of the game at large. It is often forgotten that Rooney is one of the most intuitively intelligent footballers this country has ever produced.
These attributes, coupled with the ethic drummed into him by Sir Alex Ferguson, should put Rooney in good stead for a promising career in the dugout.