Carrick: Why I was ready for coaching at United
A year on from ending his illustrious playing career, Michael Carrick remains content with his decision and is loving life as a Manchester United coach – even if the working hours are longer!
Rather than taking time out from football, which he had once planned to do, Carrick immediately accepted an offer to become a first-team coach at United and he has not looked back since.
The 37-year-old has embraced his new role and admits he is learning all of the time, as he explained to us during the club’s recent end-of-season awards night at Old Trafford.
“I was ready to finish playing, I'd had enough,”Carrick told us.
“Luckily I could go out when I was ready. Not many people get into that situation where they can decide for themselves and fortunately I was ready. In the last couple of years I just knew. I wasn't at the level I wanted to be at.
“I had just done the same thing for so long and it was time. I always had in my mind about having time away from football for the kids and the family, but there was no way I was walking away from this club when the opportunity came along. I am so glad that I made that decision and I am here.”
“It has been a massive change for me. Playing for so long, you just get used to it, used to doing the same things, having that routine and focusing on performing for yourself - getting the best out of yourself.
“You kind of have mixed feelings when you go into being a coach, thinking about how it is going to be and how different it is going to be. It is a big challenge and very different to playing. It is something I have really enjoyed. Obviously, there have been ups and downs throughout the season, but I am really enjoying myself at the moment and looking forward to what is ahead.”
Asked if he’s working harder than ever, Michael joked:“I am never at home - just ask my wife! She knows about that. It is longer hours and obviously a lot more work, but you get the rewards.”
Carrick was speaking to us just moments after Academy graduates Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong had collected the Youth and Reserve-Team Player of the Year awards.
Both youngsters discussed their determination to improve during the acceptance speeches and Carrick admitted he has a similar frame of mind, at this early stage of his promising and exciting coaching career.
“The interesting thing is, when you listen to Chongy and Mason, talking about starting their careers and working hard, learning as they go, that is kind of me now in the next chapter,” Michael said.
“Just because I have played for so long and achieved some things in the game, when you step into that new job and new role it is a new experience. It made me smile a little bit listening to the boys, because that is me now just a few years on.”
Reading this in our app? If not, you might miss some exclusive features not found on ManUtd.com. Download the Official App here.