Fletcher coaching United's Under-16s
Darren Fletcher is delighted to be giving something back to his former club as he is currently helping to coach Manchester United's Under-16s.
The ex-Scotland international has retired from the game after a stellar career, which included over 300 appearances for the Reds before representing West Brom and Stoke City.
At 36, he is working on his badges and is still hugely respected by everybody associated with the Reds, not just for his on-field efforts but for always displaying the sort of personality and qualities that represent the ethos of the club so well.
“I needed a bit of a break away from it [football],” he told us.
“I think the transition from playing to the other side has been difficult. All your focus is on being a player, day in and day out, and you miss being a player.
“I think I needed that period to step away a little bit and took my time to come away and accept not being a player anymore, moving onto my coaching badges, and this is the early stages of doing it.
“I'm just getting my coaching badges done and being invited back into the club,”he explained.
“I've got a bit of spare time in the evenings and I thought there's nothing better than doing something at United and giving a bit back, working at the Academy.“It's a club that means a lot to me, so it ticks both boxes really. It allows me to get my coaching badges done and give a bit back to the Academy kids.
“Do you know what? I've really enjoyed it. I started a few weeks before lockdown, and got a taste of it, but have been back involved for two or three weeks. I'm just loving it, the enthusiasm and the stage they're at in their career.
“It's a great place to be, in the evenings, I'm giving up my time and can see how much it means to them.
Head of Academy Nick Cox said:
“I pass on some advice and small details on the game and they really try to take it on board and add it to their game. To see them doing it, and getting rewards from it, means a lot.”
“The opportunity to learn from Darren during this period will be invaluable for our Under-16s group. It is important that we have a coaching staff with a wide variety of skillsets and experiences to unlock the potential in each of our young players. Darren is already a fantastic young coach who knows exactly what it takes to make it at Manchester United, to win trophies and perform at the highest level. He brings with him the expertise to influence and improve our young players in every session and is a great addition to our continuously evolving team of dedicated coaches.”