United goalkeeper Grant reveals his future plans
Manchester United goalkeeper Lee Grant has revealed he is taking his coaching badges, with a view to becoming a manager in the future.
A 36-year-old lifelong Red, Grant believes he is in the right place to further his education, and he views Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo as a great example of a goalkeeper who has become an accomplished head coach.
A passion for this side of the game has developed over time for the former Stoke City man, who recently sat down with us at the Aon Training Complex to discuss his long-term plans.
“Strangely, in the earlier part of my career, coaching was something I was always dead against,”he told us.
“I could never see myself in that role whereas, as I got to 26 or 27, my views changed on that dramatically.
“I’m completely the opposite now. It’s something I’m really looking forward to getting into and, hopefully, management at some stage. I’d really love to be part of a coaching team and, as I say, eventually lead a team. That would be the ideal scenario for me.
“I think something changed when I went back to Derby for the second time. I was working with Steve McClaren and I just saw the way he worked. I actually saw, first hand how a change in manager can have such a dramatic impact on a football club, and on a team of players. It really opened my eyes to it. So getting an opportunity to do that in the future, I’m really looking forward to that moment.
“I’ve had some excellent role models. For me, though, you learn just as much from the ones you don’t necessarily agree with, the ones you don’t see eye-to-eye with, or the ones whose methods you don't like. You learn as much from those as you do from the ones you’ve really enjoyed working with, the ones you’ve studied and the ones you trust and believe in.
“So there is lots to learn and I am trying to pick up as much as I can. I feel like I’m in a wonderful position to do that at the football club I am at, at the moment.”
With such a focus on the art of specialist goalkeeping coaching, not all performers between the posts end up pursuing the top job as a career plan.
“It is strange that you don’t see a huge amount of goalkeepers making it into top-level management,”added Grant.“Yes, Jose Mourinho played in goal and Mike Walker the old Norwich manager. The Wolves manager Nuno – he was a goalkeeper. Kevin Blackwell. There have been a few. But, obviously, the Wolves boss, Nuno, is probably a shining example of it in this day and age. A goalkeeper turned head coach. So, obviously, that’s a path I wouldn’t mind following.
“Us goalkeepers are bit more difficult as, to be a goalkeeper coach, you have to have your goalkeeping badges as well. For me, it’s something I would want to do naturally anyway, coaching and management, and I mean the whole team, as it’s something I’ve really had my eye on.”
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