Jack Wilshere has been appointed as Arsenal U18 head coach, following his retirement from professional football last week.
Wilshere graduated from the Arsenal academy and went on to make 197 appearances for the club between 2008 and 2018, winning the FA Cup twice. He announced his playing career had come to an end on Friday at the age of 30, just a day after ending his five-month stint at Danish club AGF.
“It’s a huge honour to have this role,” the former England international said. “It’s no secret that I love this club. I love what we stand for and you know a big part of my life was spent in this academy, some of the best days of my life.
“This is a big opportunity for me and I’m ready. I’m hungry and can’t wait to help these young players thrive and be the best they can be on and off the pitch.
Academy manager Pet Mertesacker said of Wilshere’s appointment: “This is great news for everyone involved in our academy. We have made a number of really positive changes in the last few weeks and I believe that we have the best possible people here to build on the progress that we’ve made in recent years.
“Everyone knows how passionate Jack is about Arsenal. He understands what we want to achieve here and he really impressed us last year. He knows exactly what it takes to progress through the academy into first team football.”