Is Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp a future manager

When it comes to staying in football after his playing days are over, Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp is keeping his options open.

At 34, the centre-forward is reaching the stage where he has to think about what comes next.

Opening his own academy has whetted his appetite for coaching, and whilst he would love to live the dream of celebrating goals from the Bramall Lane dugout as he has from the pitch, Sharp is yet to decide which path to go down.

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“I’ll continue to do my badges and give myself the option,” said the boyhood Blades fan when asked if he was thinking about staying in the professional game as a manager.

Billy Sharp of Sheffield United celebrates scoring against Norwich (Picture: SportImage)

“Right now it’s too early to say but I love to see the kids coming to the academy, playing football and learning different skills from the talented coaches I’ve got on board. To be a part of it is brilliant.

“I had my launch night (for the Billy Sharp Football Academy) just before the (coronavirus) pandemic and that was a great success.

“I was in the middle of setting up Easter camps, which didn’t happen. We had a lot of unhappy kids but we tried to do other things on social media for them to do. It’s great to keep the kids occupied.

“It’s something I will be involved with.

“I would love to give management a crack one day, whether it happens or not I’m not sure but I’m going to give myself the opportunity by getting my badges and we’ll see.

“Whether I go into coaching at professional level or go hands-on with the academy, I want that to go big.

“I hear of so many kids who have been at an academy for six weeks and get told not to come back, which is horrible for a kid. I was a lucky one who was told they wanted to keep me on but I want to give that opportunity and that platform to a kid who might not be ready now but might be ready in six or 12 months.

“The (Sheffield United) academy might give me an idea of the things they want him to work on so I’ll be giving that platform to hopefully step back in. It would make me proud to see them go on to play professional football, that’s what it’s about.

“It’s not the be all and end all, it’s about enjoyment and learning social skills as well. I’m forever hearing from parents saying ‘They’ve come out their shell, they were so shy but now they love making friends’, it’s great to hear and see and that’s just a few bits I want to give to the kids.

“When I say I want to be a manager it’s something I’ve only thought about the last few years because of the emotions I’ve seen in the gaffer (Chris Wilder). I would love to be able to slide onto the pitch with the players and run down touchline pumping my fist.

“It won’t beat playing for Sheffield United, the gaffer will tell you that, but it’s the next best thing. Maybe one day.

“Morgs (former Blades centre-back Chris Morgan) had a crack at it (with caretaker spells in charge at Sheffield United and Port Vale) and loved it but I’m delighted I’m still playing and hopefully that continues for a bit longer yet.”

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