Jack Wilshere is eager to get to work and help Arsenal’s academy starts improve on and off the pitch after he was officially named the Head Coach of the Gunners’ Under-18 side.
His appointment comes just days after the former Arsenal man was forced to go the difficult route and retire from football at a relatively early age of 30. The ex-England star called it quits to the beautiful after a 14-year professional career marred by injuries, having been left without a club after his contract with Danish side AGF ran out in June.
The role more than suits Wilshere, who came through the Arsenal academy himself and went on to make 197 appearances for the club between 2008 and 2018, becoming a fan-favourite in that time. He also played a key role in Arsenal’s successive FA Cup triumphs in 2014 and 2015.
Wilshere has previously spoken about his love for coaching, while admitting he could consider it after hanging his boots. Not even up to a week and his wish has been seemingly granted, with the 30-year-old now laying his plans for the club’s youth setup, after his appointment.
Wilshere already has some familiarity with a couple Arsenal youngsters, having spent some time with them last season, while he was regaining fitness.
Speaking to the Arsenal website, he said: “It’s a huge honour to have this role. It’s no secret that I love this club. I love what we stand for and a big part of my life was spent in this academy, some of the best days of my life. This is a big opportunity for me and I’m ready. I’m hungry and can’t wait to help these young players thrive and be the best they can be on and off the pitch.”
“It’s a special feeling to be part of the Arsenal family. It never left me, and even though I moved on for a few years, my heart was always still at Arsenal. I can’t wait to get started and help these young players thrive with a great team around me.” (hear more from Jack)
Academy manager Per Mertesacker added: “This is great news for everyone involved in our academy. We have made a number of really positive changes in the last few weeks and I believe that we have the best possible people here to build on the progress that we’ve made in recent years.
Elsewhere, Mehmet Ali was also appointed as the Head Coach for Arsenal’s U-21 while Max Porter will join as his assistant.
Arsenal fans seemed to be pleased with the appointment of Jack Wilshere, given how loved he was during his time at the club.