Two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup weren’t enough for Joleon Lescott. Now, the former England defender is striving to share his successes on the pitch and take on leadership roles to inspire a new generation of footballers.

The towering centre-back, who played for the likes of Manchester City, Everton and Wolves, is aiming to use his knowledge and expertise to stay involved in football long after retiring from the sport professionally.

Lescott, a delegate on the MSc Sports Directorship programme at GIS, told us: “Playing was everything for me, but going forward I know I am passionate about potentially making a difference to generations of younger players.”

He added: “The initial draw was wanting to go into football administration, as there’s more longevity in that career path than actually coaching on the grass.”

Recognising the importance of leadership and management in football, Lescott currently works as a player liaison agent for City alongside his studies. “I just want to learn as much as possible,” he says. “Meet new people from different backgrounds in the sporting industries and industries in general.”

Inspired by the great managers of his own playing career, such as Roberto Mancini and Fabio Capello, Lescott recognises the qualities needed to be a great leader. It is not, he says, exclusively based on coaching techniques and match day performance, but also the relationships they build with their team and individual players.

Lescott explained: “More often than not the managers you enjoy working for recognise that their sole purpose is to develop you as an individual and to get the best out of the team. I’ve worked with successful coaches that the group didn’t enjoy working with and supposed unsuccessful coaches that it was a joy to work for.”