Pool favourites hoping to inspire kids

Former Blackpool players Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Stephen Crainey are setting up a football academy
Former Blackpool players Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Stephen Crainey are setting up a football academy
0
Have your say

Gary Taylor-Fletcher insists his new coaching venture on the Fylde coast doesn’t signal the end of his playing career, writes WILLIAM WATT.

The Blackpool favourite has teamed up with former Seasiders team-mate Stephen Crainey to launch a football academy, focusing on children and their development.

Crainey and Taylor-Fletcher both find themselves without a club, having left Fleetwood and Leicester respectively at the end of last season.

Both have held talks with several clubs, but in the meantime have turned their attentions to coaching future stars, launching their new venture at Fylde RFC yesterday.

But Taylor-Fletcher, 34, assured The Gazette: “I’m not retiring yet. Hopefully I’ll be back with a club soon.

“I’ve had a couple of offers but I’m waiting for a move which will be right for me and the family. This academy is something I intend to do as well as playing.

“Stephen and I were talking a couple of weeks ago and this idea came up. From there it’s been a whirlwind really.

“We are keen to pass on what we’ve learned to the grass roots and we thought there was no better place than Blackpool.”

The pair are working through their coaching badges – both hold a UEFA B licence – and are interested in management in the future.

But for now they are keen to carry on playing and Taylor-Fletcher said: “I’ve spent a lot of time training on my own and at Crewe to keep fit. I’m being patient and am sure the right offer will come along soon.”

The GTF Crainey academy will launch next month. Follow them on Twitter for details: @gtfcraineyfa.