Pools captain Andrew Davies is bringing lessons learned on the pitch back to his roots as he launches a new youth academy.
Budding young players will soon get the chance to do just that with the launch of a new football academy at the SRC Sports Centre in Billingham.
The 33-year-old, from Billingham, who was has played in the Premier League and was a £1.3m signing, is fitting the sessions around his playing career.
Andrew said: “Over the years I have looked into coaching as something I might do at the end of my playing career.
"What better way to get some experience early than starting with the youngsters and working my way up?”
That’s not to say the centre back has any plans to hang up his boots, saying: “I am thoroughly enjoying it at Hartlepool, it is a fantastic club.
“I have thought if I had had the opportunity to work with someone when I was younger that might have given me a bit of a head start.”
“I realise that football isn’t something that lasts forever so this is a way of using my experience and being able to pass it on.
“It’s nothing too serious, it is about having some fun in a safe and friendly environment.”
Considering himself a bit of a late starter, Andrew was around aged 10 before he truly discovered his love of the game.
Playing for Billingham Synthonia and then Hartburn Juniors, it was there he was spotted, aged 12, for Middlesbrough FC by scout Ron Bone. He signed his first professional contract
He added: “I have been in football for 17 years. I have worked with some fantastic coaches and have learned a lot. I would like to pass that on.”
Andrew has worked with the likes of Steve McClaren, Mark Proctor and of course England manager Gareth Southgate, and added: “I am someone that has grown up in this area.
"When I was younger I wanted to be a professional footballer and I discovered that when you work at something, listen to what people are teaching you and put your mind to it, your dreams can come true.”
Of course, he added, that’s not to say everyone is going to become a professional footballer, but he believes with the right mind set you can achieve your goals.
He said: “That is what I want to teach the kids.”
The academy, AD Football Coaching by Andrew Davies, launches at the SRC Sports Centre, Marsh House Avenue, Billingham, in January.