Evergreen Wellington Phoenix striker Chris Greenacre sets about consolidating his future in football this week when he fronts up for a UEFA A-Licence coaching course in Reading, England.
Greenacre, 34, is uncertain about his future at the Phoenix, though he confirmed before leaving for England that he had been involved in “positive discussions” with the club about next season.
Should those discussions lead to another contract, as seems likely, it will be in a coaching role, possibly with both the senior team, as assistant to head coach Ricki Herbert, and the youth set up the club is about to launch.
When Greenacre, who entered football as a 17-year-old apprentice with Manchester City, took on a coaching position at the Phoenix this season he expected his playing role to decrease.
Just the opposite happened with the striker being the only Phoenix player to appear in all 29 games, scoring six goals in the process, and earning a lasting place in the hearts of the Yellow Fever who regularly sing his praises.
Coaching has always been on the horizon for Greenacre however and he believes the time is now right to concentrate on that role.
“I-ve been talking about it (the A-Licence) for three years but postponed it when I arrived in New Zealand and it has been on hold since,” Greenacre said.
“It is part of football that the majority of players have to think about what they will do for the rest of their life when they stop playing.
“I-ve obviously been thinking about the choices ahead of me lately. Do I want to set up a business and be my own boss? If so what kind of business?
“The fact is football has been my life and I would like that to continue.
“I would love to be able to pass on what I-ve learnt during the past 17 years, which has been a fantastic ride.
“I was fortunate enough to be part of the youth development programme at Man City because it was a great breeding ground for footballers.
“If I can give something back to young players not only in the way of football skills, but also the life skills I have picked up along the way it would be satisfying.
“Hopefully that will be at the Phoenix and the family can stay in New Zealand.
“For the next couple of weeks though I have to concentrate on the coaching course which should be a great experience.”
Working alongside Greenacre on the course will be former England internationals Phil Neville and Nick Barmby, as well as newly-appointed Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi.