Jack Wilshere never expected to retire at 30 but Arsenal U18s job too good to turn down

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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Jack Wilshere never planned to retire from football at the age of 30, but the lure of a coaching job at Arsenal proved just too hard to turn down.

Wilshere was last night appointed as Arsenal’s new Under-18 head coach after deciding to call time on his playing career.

The 30-year-old, who has struggled for fitness over the past few years, spent much of last season training at Arsenal before joining Danish club Aarhus for the final few months of the campaign.

It was during his time at Arsenal last season that Wilshere’s love of coaching grew — and he has revealed that the chance to carry on his work there with the academy made it easier to walk away from playing.

“Still being relatively young, I didn’t expect my playing days to be done at this age, but when you get an opportunity like this given to you, it’s hard to turn down,” he said.

“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.

“When I think of a family, family is always there for you no matter what. Even if you leave, the door is always open and I always felt that when I came back here.

“I always had coaching in the back of my mind, but then I came back here last year and I was doing it full-time for six months, and the more I learned about it, the more it intrigued me.”

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