Scott Parker: ‘My passion is to coach a team. I’m out of my comfort zone.’

The former England midfielder knows time is ticking down on his playing career but he is already one step ahead of the rest, on the road to football management

Early afternoon at St George’s Park and Scott Parker has taken leave of the latest intake of Pro Licence candidates, all discussing the day’s early sessions over a buffet lunch, and is shedding light on what a former England midfielder does next. The latest trend among elite players is to gravitate towards punditry, their fortunes long since made in the upper echelons of the game, but Parker has other priorities. “My drive and passion is to be out there, to try to coach a team, to influence a side and give them something we can be proud of,” he says. “This course is a big commitment, one I’ve taken on while still playing. But this is what I want to do.”

It is a process that started some time ago. Much about Parker is refreshing, from his optimistic views on youth development in this country to the difficulties a veteran of more than 500 first-team games at seven clubs has experienced in preparing for life on the sidelines rather than central midfield. But it is that foresight in properly planning ahead that is particularly striking.

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