England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is planning to become a football manager after he hangs up his boots.
Rooney, aged 23, has commenced studies for his UEFA B license, reports The Times.
The course, an entry level qualification for professional players who hope to move into management, is usually taken by footballers in their thirties. But Rooney wants to gain his coaching badges as soon as possible, encouraged by Sir Alex Ferguson, his club’s manager.
It appears that Rooney, who celebrates his 24th birthday on October 24, likes to do things precociously young. He is the youngest player to win 50 caps for England. He was also the youngest England international ever and the most junior player to score in the Premier League during his debut season of 2002-3, although both records were subsequently beaten. Now the pattern of early achievement is set to continue when it comes to coaching.
The B licence, which takes between nine and 12 months to complete, involves 120 hours of study and practical work and is the minimum qualification expected of a coach working in the professional game. Candidates study tactics, food and fitness, injury identification, sports psychology and player analysis and must organise and run several coaching sessions under the eye of an assessor.
Rooney is one of several Manchester United players trying for the licence, including Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Edwin Van Der Sar. Rooney will be tutored by members of the club’s coaching staff and will use Manchester United youth players for practice sessions.