Hartlepool United talisman Billy Paynter has no plans to hang up his boots just yet.
But he does have one eye on the next stage of his career after being awarded his UEFA ‘B’ Licence coaching qualification.
The Pools captain and 15-goal top scorer has spoken of his delight having worked towards the qualification since last summer.
Paynter, 31, completed practical coaching sessions as well as classroom-based theory and analysis sessions totalling around 120 hours.
“It has been a lot of hours but I am delighted to have passed now,” said Paynter.
“I think the assessment part was quite nerve-wracking obviously.
“It’s a test so you have to put on the session he asks you to, be professional and get your points across to the players clearly.”
Paynter’s course began with a two-week study period at Blackburn Rovers, where he was classmates with former West Ham United duo Trevor Sinclair and Freddie Kanoute.
His final assessment took place at Pools’ Maiden Castle training ground on Thursday when an assessor oversaw him putting on a session on attacking play with the club’s youth team.
Paynter, who is currently nursing a hamstring injury after going off against Carlisle United in midweek, added: “The youth team lads were fantastic.
“They really seemed to enjoy the session I put on and I have already spoken to John Hewitson about getting more involved in coaching with the Academy.
“Obviously, training and playing is still the priority for me at the moment but passing this gives me the option to take it on to the next level in the future so I will have a think about when to do that.”