Former Blackpool and Leicester striker Gary Taylor-Fletcher has told TEAMtalk.com it his long-term goal to move into management, but he is not ready to hang up his boots just yet.
Taylor-Fletcher has just left Tranmere Rovers after a short spell at the club where he combined playing with coaching.
Due to budget cuts at National League side Tranmere Taylor-Fletcher will be forced to move on and seek pastures new this summer and the 34-year-old is looking to fix himself up ideally in a player-manager role.
Taylor-Fletcher has had a taste of coaching at Tranmere and Leicester before that and the well-travelled forward is determined to pursue a career in management.
So can Taylor Fletcher can follow in the footsteps in the likes of Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe who began his path to becoming one of the best young managers in the country as a player-coach? It certainly won’t be from the lack of trying as Taylor-Fletcher is fiercely ambitious to become a success in management.
“It has always been an ambition of mine to go into coaching as I love the game,” Taylor-Fletcher told TEAMtalk.com.
“You see the likes of Eddie Howe and Gary Caldwell who started out as player-managers and look how well they have done and that is something I aspire to.
“Grant McCann is now doing the same at Peterborough after getting the job and there are a lot of young coaches out there waiting for the right opportunity.
“I am no different and I would love the opportunity to go into a club in a player-coach role and work my way up like I did as a player.”
Taylor-Fletcher is one of a select band who has scored in each of the top five divisions in England, after working his way up non-league football to the Premier League in his distinguished career.
The Liverpool-born forward believes he has a lot to offer in coaching due to the experience he has garnered over his career and the managers he has worked with.
“I did some coaching at Leicester of their Under-21s and one of the main reasons I joined Tranmere last October was so I could do some coaching there too,” added Taylor-Fletcher.
“I am starting my UEFA A Licence coaching this summer and I plan to work as hard as possible to get all coaching badges to enable myself to get into management.
“From what I have experienced in my career and who I have worked under – the good and the bad – I believe I have a lot to offer, but I just need to get a foothold in the right role.
“Keith Alexander at Lincoln I have taken a lot from him and how he prepared his teams. I really enjoyed working under Keith and he was great to me.
“Then there was Ian Holloway at Blackpool and his man management skills were unbelievable and in training he was one of the best in how he set up his teams.
“I also worked under Nigel Pearson and although his man management skills were very different from Holloway technically and tactically he was spot-on and you can see with Leicester’s success he built the foundations for that.”
Despite his ambitions to go into management, Taylor-Fletcher is in no rush to quit playing and ideally would love the opportunity of combining both roles in a player-manager capacity.
“I only really started playing professionally when I was 21 and I am still only 34 now so I feel I have a few years left in me to continue playing,” noted Taylor-Fletcher.
“I am keeping myself ticking over now the season has finished and I am just waiting to see what opportunities are out there.
“I am happy to start low down like I did when I first started playing and I would be interested in something which would allow me possibly to be a player-manager and do both roles.”