Sunderland skipper Corry Evans is spending time this summer taking his UEFA B coaching badge back in Belfast. The Northern Ireland international midfielder suffered a cruciate ligament injury in January which could keep him out until Christmas but the 32-year-old – who signed a new one-year contract extension with the Black Cats in February – is determined to use that time to good effect.
He has previously spoken of his desire to stay in the game when his playing career comes to an end and his decision to enrol on the UEFA B badge course run by the Northern Ireland FA is a step towards that ambition. Evans is part of a group taking the qualification that also includes former West Ham captain Nigel Reo-Coker and ex-Arsenal and Switzerland defender Phillipe Senderos.
“As a player you just focus on playing and you don’t really think about the other side of the game in terms of the detail of what goes into what coaches plan,” Evans told the Northern Ireland FA website. “I definitely have a lot more appreciation for what coaches do and the meticulous planning that has to be done to be at the high level of things.
“There’s a good spirit with the group of coaches and the best thing about it is we’re all eager to learn. It’s been really helpful, and it’s been a really good group to be involved in.”
Earlier this year Evans talked about taking his coaching badges, saying: “I can’t be on the pitch to try and help the lads so there’s going to be other ways that – I’ve spoken to Kristjaan [Speakman, Sunderland’s sporting director] about – I can try and help. As soon as I get on my feet and probably get off my crutches and be able to walk about, I’ll be coming to games and trying to help the lads on matchdays.
“I’m sure I’ll be sitting down with Kristjaan and the coaches to discuss other ways [to spend his time]. It’s a good time for me to maybe concentrate on my coaching badges that you don’t usually get the time to do as a player.
“That’s something that definitely interests me, and I’ll be trying to do those sorts of things while I’ll be out.”
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