Blackpool’s Jay Spearing has taken a big step towards a potential future career by completing his coaching badges.
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The 30-year-old had been studying for his UEFA B coaching licence for much of last season and qualified in April.
While the former Liverpool man is not yet sure whether management is for him, he says the experience has given him a taste of what might come further down the line.
Spearing told The Gazette: “I’ve been signed off and qualified, so I’ve done my UEFA B licence now, which is great.
“That’s another thing I’ve had going on in the background during the season and I’ve been doing a bit of media work as well, so I’m enjoying doing what I can.”
Spearing first told The Gazette about his plans to study for his coaching badges in May of last year, when he was due to take part in sessions at Burnley’s Gawthorpe training ground.
“It does interest me,” Spearing revealed at the time.
“Over the last couple of years I’ve been going back to the academy at Liverpool every month or so and working with the youth teams to gain a few ideas.
“I’ve been trying to see if it is for me and I do really enjoy it.
“That’s why I’m taking it seriously now and getting on this course while I’m still playing.
“I’m not too sure about the managerial stuff at first-team level but I’d definitely like to work at academy level first, get used to it, learn stuff and then you never know what can happen.
“If something came up that was interesting, then you’d have a little dabble at it.
“But for the time being I’m working towards getting myself into academy level and working with the kids because I do enjoy that.
“Liverpool have been brilliant, so they’ve given me a bit of a buzz for it all.”
Spearing won The Gazette’s player of the season award voted for by readers.
He was a virtual ever-present in the centre of Blackpool’s midfield, making 49 appearances in all competitions.
He’s also finished the season among the club’s top scorers, finding the back of the net on six occasions.
While Spearing was happy with how the season went, he admitted he was looking forward to an extended break.
“It’s been a hectic one, a busy one,” he added. “I’ve had a lot going on both on and off the field with other stuff. I need to get away and spend some time with the girls and have a break.
“I have a third one on the way as well, so I’ve got to get ready for that as well.
“But it’s exciting times ahead, and I’m looking forward to pre-season and keeping fit.”