Byline David Williams
Chris Gunter insists he is already looking forward to coaching the next generation of Wales stars after announcing his intention to retire from playing.
The former Wales defender – who quit international football two months ago after winning 109 caps – will join the Wales staff as a national team development coach after announcing his retirement from playing at the end of the season.
Gunter was part of Rob Page’s coaching team for European Championship qualifiers against Croatia and Latvia in March, and his new part-time role will provide support for young Wales players as they transition into senior football.
Former Wales defender Chris Gunter has brought an end to his playing career ⚽
The former Cardiff City and Tottenham full-back has already begun coaching with Wales and will take on an official role this summer.#BBCFootball
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) May 4, 2023
The 33-year-old will take up the role following AFC Wimbledon’s final game of the Sky Bet League Two season at Grimsby on Monday.
I feel ready and excited for the next chapter of my career,” Gunter said.
“I’m hugely thankful to the FAW [Football Association of Wales], and Robert Page especially. Having completed my coaching badges, I will begin my new role from the summer.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to work alongside Rob and the staff.
Thank you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WiwkudQWuy
— Chris Gunter (@Chrisgunter16) May 4, 2023
Gunter’s 109 caps for Wales is a figure surpassed only in the men’s game by Gareth Bale’s 111 appearances.
He became the first Wales men’s player to win a century of caps in March 2021.
Newport-born Gunter made over 600 appearances at club level for Cardiff, Tottenham, Nottingham Forest, Reading, Charlton and AFC Wimbledon.
“After taking some time for consideration, I’m announcing my retirement from professional football at the end of the season,” Gunter wrote on social media.
“I feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to have enjoyed the highs and lows of the past 17/18 years.
“Over 700 games have brought many challenges and opportunities which through all of it I’ve always given my absolute all.
“Thank you to all the managers who believed in me and all the players I’ve been fortunate to share the dressing room with.
“None of it would have been possible without the support of my family from the moment I started playing football. They’ve followed and supported my journey every step of the way.”