George Boateng says returning to Aston Villa as U18s Assistant Coach is the 'perfect' next step as he looks to further the next stage of his career.
He's now assistant to Head Coach Richard Beale following a reshape of our Academy set-up over the summer months.
And the one-time Villa midfielder insists working with this age grade represents the ideal foundations to one day achieve his dream of becoming a manager.
He said: "I made a decision a couple of years ago and knew if I wanted to be a good manager or coach then I need to learn my trade.
"It's the same as when you're playing – you can't just begin playing in the first team. You have to learn, all aspects of the game.
"I spent a year at Blackburn Rovers, coaching the U13s through to the U18s. To be Assistant Coach for the U18s here is perfect.
"It's a club I know well and working with a specific age group. It's a combination that focuses on performance and development.
"It's perfect for me in terms of the way I want to develop as a coach."
Boateng has also spoken of his love for the day-to-day work at Bodymoor Heath, admitting he struggles to switch off when outside the building.
As well as planning and executing sessions, he is thinking long-term for his new students, and how he can progress them into one day becoming first-team players.
He added: "If I have a day off, I can't wait to get back in.
"I'm planning and always thinking about what we can do when we're next in.
"It's engaging, active and they're long hours – which I enjoy.
"The balance is between winning and developing, but it's always eventually about the latter and getting players into that first team. That's the emphasis."