Jack Wilshere has revealed that he is working on his coaching badges despite entering the prime of his playing career as he plans for his future away from the pitch.
The Arsenal midfielder is currently in the process of acquiring his Uefa B coaching badge, which allows holders to be head coaches at amateur sides or youth sides up to the age of 16. The 25-year-old began working on his coaching badges while on loan at Bournemouth last season and revealed that he will move towards acquiring his Uefa A license in the future.
Wilshere admits that he may not need it for the next ten years, but wants it as assurance that he has an option to go into coaching once he calls time on his career. Wilshere has had an injury-plagued career, but he seems to be turning a corner after making an impressive comeback from a leg injury for Arsenal this season.
"Last year when I was at Bournemouth, because they're not in Europe and didn't have a midweek game, it seemed like an opportunity [to start on my badges]," Wilshere said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"A few of the lads were talking about doing their Level Two [coaching badge] and I thought, I'm going to jump on it.
"I really enjoyed it, while I'm fit and playing and healthy I might not need it, but even if I've got another ten years left in me I don't want to be at the end of my career and maybe have a year out and be thinking, what do I want to do...and then have to go through Level Two, Uefa B, Uefa A," he explained.
"I'm doing my Uefa B at the minute. Luckily I've got great facilities here at Arsenal, great players and the PFA and the FA have been great and really helpful. I'm going to complete that and then see what I want to do," the Arsenal midfielder added.
The England international made his first Premier League appearance for the Gunners in over a year and will hope to build on that and have a strong season. Wilshere is in the final year of his contract and Arsene Wenger has admitted that he will be offered a new deal if he proves his fitness.
Recent reports suggested that the north London club are set to begin talks with the midfielder over a new deal as he remains keen to continue with the club he joined when he was a nine-year-old. Wilshere is not the only player doing the coaching badges as Per Mertesacker, who takes over as the academy chief next year, is also pursuing his Uefa B coaching badge.