Leon Britton insists he still has a role to play on the field this season – despite his step up to join Swansea City’s coaching team.
Britton has filled the vacancy left by Claude Makelele, who departed the club last week to become manager of Belgian club KAS Eupen.
The 35-year-old midfielder will continue playing but has given up the captaincy at the Liberty Stadium.
“It’s not the end of my playing career,” Britton said.
“I will still be training every day and will be up for selection.
“But I will also be in staff meetings and looking to prepare for games from the coaching side.
“I will train as long as I am fit, but my days will start a lot earlier. I will try to be that link between the players and the staff, which is very important I think.
“Coaching has always been in my thoughts. Once you pass 30 and people start writing you off as a player, you start thinking about what you will do after football.
“Coaching is something I have enjoyed, whether it be working with the academy or on my coaching courses.
“I feel I have a good knowledge and understanding of the game having worked under lots of different and very good managers.
“I would like to think that I can use that experience and put it to good use as part of the coaching staff.
“It’s a big advantage that I know all the players well. I have been on the pitch with them – I know their qualities and their characters.
“I know everyone involved in the club and how things work here. I have to use that to my advantage.”
Swans manager Paul Clement said: “It is the beginning of a new chapter in his career.
“I feel he is the perfect person for the role at this time.
“He is still very much in my plans as a player, but now we can tap into his knowledge as a coach too. He has a lot to give in that respect.
“He now sits in on all management meetings and on the days where he is not training, he will be part of the coaching set-up.
“Similarly, on a match day, if he’s in the squad then his focus is on playing.
“If not, then he will be in the dugout as part of the coaching staff.”
Britton – who has played 525 games in two spells at Swansea – will work under Clement and alongside Nigel Gibbs, Karl Halabi and Tony Roberts as a player-assistant coach.
Swansea will now appoint a new captain, with Argentina defender Federico Fernandez having worn the armband recently when Britton has been missing through injury.