Jay Spearing on feeling ‘like a kid at Christmas’ following his return to Liverpool in a player-coach role

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Jay Spearing has likened the feeling of returning to Liverpool to that of a ‘kid as Christmas’.

The 33-year-old has returned to his boyhood club recently and has took up a player-coach role at the AXA Training Centre.

He will coach the U18s alongside manager Marc Bridge-Wilkinson and will also appear for the U21s as one of the permitted over-age players.

“I feel like a kid at Christmas,” Spearing tells The Athletic.

“It’s surreal to be back but an amazing feeling. This is the place I called home from the age of seven before I moved up to Melwood and then left at the age of 23. I’m a Liverpool fan so to have the liver bird on my chest again is extra special and it’s such an exciting time to be here with the success the club is enjoying.

“It was always my dream to play for the first team and I managed to achieve that before going on to have a great career. I loved every minute of it. Now it’s time for the next chapter of my life and trying to help these boys achieve their own dreams.”

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The former Tranmere midfielder was offered a new one-year deal by the Prenton Park outfit at the end of last season, but when Academy manager Alex Inglethorpe came calling, it was an opportunity that he couldn’t turn down.

Our former No. 20 also revealed that plenty of his former Liverpool teammates were in contact to congratulate once the news of his new role broke.

“When Alex first explained the opportunity to me, I was a little bit taken aback,” he admits. “I was like, ‘Wow, what a privilege’. For someone of his calibre, with the name he has in the game, to believe I was the right man to come in gave me a lot of confidence. I needed a bit of time to think about things as I’d always wanted to carry on playing as long as possible.

“But the more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that this was the ideal next step for me. It was a no-brainer. I’m delighted that Alex and the club believed in me and I’m determined to repay that faith.

“When it was first announced by the club I was viewing a house and my phone went crazy with messages wishing me all the best. Former team-mates of mine like Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Pepe Reina have been in touch and that means a lot. Three days into the job, I’d say this is the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Rafael Benitez handed Spearing his debut in the Champions League back in 2008 and he went on to make 55 first-team appearances for the club.

He won the 2012 League Cup against Cardiff at Wembley and started in our FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea that same season.

It’s great to see that the Wirral-born lad is enjoying his time back at the club.

Hopefully he can continue learning and developing as a coach, and then who knows? He may end up like Steven Gerrard managing a team in the Premier League.

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