By Caroline King

Former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard is considered one of the greatest midfielders to play the game. He announced his retirement in 2016 following a career full of trophies, wonder goals and memorable moments.

Ready for the next challenge, he returned to Anfield as a coach with the club’s youth teams, showing his undoubted passion and desire to develop his coaching skills.

In an exclusive interview with UCFB as part of the LMA Insight Series, the Rangers boss described finding the newfound confidence and self-esteem that he needed while transitioning from player to coach.

“I had go through the process of qualification in the coaching badges and work with the younger age groups to get my confidence and my self-esteem right,” he explained. “You’re completely out of your comfort zone, its brand new and it’s completely different from being a player.”

He went on to explain how exploring other areas within the football industry that were out of his comfort zone, including his role as a pundit on BT Sport, allowed him to grow, develop and learn new things while simultaneously passing on his experience to young, ambitious players eager to achieve their dreams.

“I really loved the experience of being a coach on a daily basis,” he explained. “I loved going into the academy to coach these boys and see them develop. I was developing myself too, so making mistakes away from the cameras was key for me.”

Then, in the summer of 2017, came the call from Glasgow: “It probably came a bit too soon in terms of my plan,” Gerrard explained. “But sometimes you’ve got to go off plan, sometimes you’ve got to take a risk, or a gamble, or a challenge which I’m not afraid of.”