Ryan Giggs in training for Manchester United in 2013.

Giggs: What I miss most from my playing career

The latest episode of UTD Podcast is out on Monday evening and features a long-awaited guest - Ryan Giggs!

The Manchester United legend sat down with Helen Evans, Sam Homewood and his former team-mate, David May, to reflect on his playing and coaching careers with the Reds and discuss his current position as head coach of the Wales national team.

During the recording, Giggsy declared his love for daily training sessions, and how he would appreciate his time at the training ground more than playing in actual matches. Ryan began his career in the first team at The Cliff, before the club moved to the Aon Training Complex in 2000.

“I loved it all, throughout. It’s the thing I miss. I don’t miss the games, I miss training,” he said.

Ryan Giggs on the touchline in charge of United in 2014.
Giggs had a four-game stint as United's interim player-manager at the end of the 2013/14 season.

“And even though I don’t get nervous, you put pressure on yourself. You enjoy winning the trophies and playing well and scoring goals, but actually, the games, you don’t enjoy everything that surrounds it. But training, I just loved it. I mean, playing football every day with your mates, it doesn’t get any better!

“Towards the end I probably enjoyed it more than ever because I was always thinking would it be my last year, or my last training session? So you enjoy it even more.”

After winning his and United's 13th Premier League title in 2013, Giggsy became a player-coach under the stewardship of David Moyes. 

The Scot's departure in April 2014 meant that Ryan was promoted to the role of temporary player-manager, which he undertook for our final four matches of the 13/14 season, winning two of them against Norwich City and Hull City.

“It was an amazing experience, amazing, and one, really, that made my mind up that I wanted to become a manager,“ he said. ”I would say up until then that I was still unsure. But I just felt comfortable. I felt comfortable with the decision-making. I felt comfortable in that position. It was a brilliant experience.

“I was still doing my pro licence, but actually being in the job, having to make the decisions, all the pressure that you put yourself under, you can't prepare yourself for that.”

Ryan Giggs and Louis van Gaal.
Giggsy was assistant manager at United during Louis van Gaal's two-year stint at the club.

With Louis van Gaal's arrival in the manager's hot seat for the 2014/15 campaign, Ryan became a coach during the Dutchman's two-season stint at the helm, which culminated in us lifting the FA Cup at Wembley.

During that time, the Welsh wizard admitted that he didn't realise how much went into being a coach, from watching countless hours of videos to eyeing up potential opponents.

“[I've experienced a] different approach, different people, different personalities. Obviously I had different international managers, but that's only obviously a short space of time.

“That's why I talk about Louis (van Gaal), regarding my coaching, because I was actually in his meetings for two years, [taking] responsibility, and I talk so fondly of him because that was really my first coaching role.”

He added: “Whereas when you're playing, you don't know the preparation. You don't know what the manager's seen on the videos. Players get seven or eight minutes of watching the opposition, but the coaching staff watch hours and hours. So that is completely different, it's completely different, even though you've worked under a manager for so long.

“It was more sort of the man-management and the different things that Sir Alex Ferguson would do that I've picked up on, whereas with Louis obviously I've seen first-hand different systems, why you play the different systems, the reasons for this and the reasons for that. It was a really good experience.”

The full Ryan Giggs episode of UTD Podcast will be available via Deezer and other podcast providers from Monday evening. You can find previous editions at www.manutd.com/podcast.

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