Lee Grant is getting his coaching career started as he commits to carry on as a player at Manchester United until at least 2021.
The former Stoke City player of the season has been handed a one-year extension to his playing terms at Old Trafford – but his work goes well beyond sitting in the stands as cover for David de Gea and Sergio Romero.
He is in the process of concluding his A licence coaching badge, working with Man Utd’s youngsters as he tries to help the club plan the long-term future.
“I try to speak to the coaching staff as much as possible for my own learning as much as anything,” he said.
“I get to see a lot of the hard work behind the scenes and all of us players are very much in touch with the amount of work that goes into what is given to us.
“We’re under no illusions about how much work is going in currently and the planning for next season, going forward already. I’m really pleased to be part of that continued hard work and am looking forward to seeing the results of that in the coming months and years.
“I’m still working hard at the coaching and putting the final touches to my ‘A’ licence now. It’s a good thing being at such a fantastic club that is giving me an opportunity to do that as well, by working with some of the younger players, is something I very much appreciate. I will look to continue that next year as well.”
Grant was out of the team at Derby when Mark Hughes brought him in on an initial emergency loan after Jack Butland had aggravated a complicated ankle injury on the eve of the 2016/17 season.
Then 33, it was the first time he had played in the Premier League after a career as a Championship stalwart for Derby, Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday.
Yet he went on to be crowned player of the season – with star turns against Man Utd and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and was thrilled to be handed the Sir Stanley Matthews Footballer of the Year Award too by Gordon Banks.
Butland returned from injury and Grant was signed by Jose Mourinho at the end of the following season. He is currently recovering from an arm injury and hoping to be fit again before the end of the campaign.
“I’ve really prided myself throughout my career of being fit and available at all times because that’s important for all players to do that as much as possible,“ he said in an interview for the club website.
“But I’ve fallen foul of a little bit of bad luck and a small injury ended up being worse than I thought. It’s left me with a couple of months for a period of rehab, which is frustrating, but it has to be done.
“It was one of those where you know something is not quite right. I tried to get on with it but, as soon as they had a look inside, it was clear something needed addressing. It’s done and it all went well, better than expected.
“That’s great so it’s just a period of rehab which will hopefully leave me in a good place going into the back-end of the season.”