Jon Stead reveals what comes next for him following decision to retire from playing

Jon Stead has revealed what he plans to do next having called time on his long playing career following the conclusion of Harrogate Town’s 2020/21 campaign.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 8:48 am
Jon Stead has retired following a 19-year-long professional playing career. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Jon Stead has retired following a 19-year-long professional playing career. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The 38-year-old striker announced his retirement immediately after Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Cheltenham, but has no intention of walking away from the game.

“My plan now is to push forwards with my coaching,” the former Premier League star told the Harrogate Advertiser.

“It is something that I really want to progress with. I think it would be a real shame if I didn’t given the amount of knowledge and experience I have of the game all through the levels.

“I feel like it would be silly not to try and use it, not just to my advantage, but also to help younger lads in the game.

“I have still got so much to learn, however, so I want to get a head start this summer and get through some bits and pieces to help me towards completing my [UEFA] A Licence.

“So, that’s the next step. Whether coaching leads to management, we will see. I think I would like to manage at some point in the future, but I think we’re talking quite a few years down the line.”

Stead, who turned out for the likes of Sheffield United, Blackburn and Sunderland during his 19-year-long stint in professional football, has already dipped his toes into the world of coaching.

In addition to running his own Striker Academy, he has worked with Notts County’s under-15s on the way to completing his UEFA B Licence, coached Huddersfield Town’s under-17s and under-23s strikers and also spent time helping the forward players across various Sheffield United youth teams.

All of the aforementioned club roles were undertaken on a voluntary basis, and the ex-England under-21 international says he hopes to be able to continue to take advantage of such opportunities, insisting that he does not expect his profile or exploits as a player to help fast-track his career.

“I don’t just want to jump into anything. I want to continue learning my craft,” he added.

“Just because I have had a decent playing career doesn’t give me the divine right to walk into a coaching or managerial job.

“I’m going all in. I want start at the bottom. Start at the beginning, like I did as a player, learning as I go and working my way up.

“I believe I have got a lot to give and hopefully I can make success of it. I’ve been in enough dressing rooms with enough different players to know what lads like and don’t like when it comes to the way they are coached or managed.”

Stead has already been approached by one party who are interested in securing his services as a coach, but he has confirmed that the club in question is not Harrogate.

“I’ve got one concrete offer on the table that I’m considering at the moment,” the veteran goal-getter said.

“Nothing was ever mentioned by Harrogate and, to be honest, they’ve got a very good blend of coaches there, it is very tight-knit and I think someone coming in right now might disrupt what they’ve got going on – which is something that has brought them a lot of success in recent years.

“Because of how well what they do there works, I think it would be tough for a coach to break in there at the moment. I think they’ve got it spot-on already.

“But, if in the future there was an opportunity to work in a coaching role then it’s something I’d be interested in. It’s a great club.”