Perth Glory veteran Richard Garcia will add coaching responsibilities to his duties this season but playing his part on the pitch will be his main focus for the WA Hyundai A-League club.
“I always really wanted to play on,” the 34 year old ex-Hull City and West Ham stalwart told www.perthglory.com.au
“Kenny made his feelings clear to me that he wanted me to maybe step the other side of the fence a little bit this year.
“And that’s something I had to think about and I’m actually excited about the opportunity to be able to do that and hopefully learn off them and progress myself as an up and coming hopefully coach one day”
Garcia spent most of his playing career in England having moved overseas to West Ham’s youth academy at the age of 15.
He believes his wealth of knowledge and experience within the game makes him an ideal candidate to pursue a senior coaching career.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to be able to see what goes on. I know I’ve got a lot of knowledge and experience within the game”.
“I’ve played under many different coaches so I think I have the qualities to be able to go into that field. It’s now about maybe progressing slowly, slowly and I think I’m under the right guy to show me the way” he said.
Irrespective of the change in landscape for the 2010 Caltex Socceroos World Cup player, Garcia is determined to be a force on the pitch for as long as he can.
“I want to play but obviously I might not get as much time as the younger guys. First and foremost, I’m here to play and secondly, am to learn off the coaching staff and develop as a coach.”
Garcia will be one of many new and familiar faces to head to the Philippines for the club’s pre-season tour later this month.
The team will face off against Brisbane Roar in the Round of 32 Westfield FFA Cup action on August 10 before kicking off its Hyundai A-League season against Central Coast at nib Stadium on October 8.
The match will be marked with a special Heritage Jersey to reflect the club’s 20 year history.