MIKE Pollitt will bring up a glorious decade of service at Wigan Athletic after becoming the club’s new goalkeeping coach.
The 42-year-old is Wigan’s longest-serving player, having joined from Rotherham in the summer of 2005 ahead of the first season in the Premier League.
But he will now hang up his boots to concentrate on making a success of his new senior role after Uwe Rosler selected him to succeed Phil Hughes.
“I like to work with young players and give young players their chance, and that also goes for young coaches,” Rosler told the Evening Post.
“Polly has a wealth of experience from his playing days, and he has benefited from several different coaching techniques – from home and abroad.
“He is a good student of the game, he wants to improve, and we are giving him the chance to show what he can do.
“He had the opportunity to go to Bury in January, but I put a stop to that because I wanted to keep him.
“It’s important to promote from within the club, because it sends the right message.
“I am looking forward to seeing how it will go and I’m very confident Polly will be an important figure for us moving forward.”
Pollitt last played for Latics in their FA Cup third-round win at Bournemouth in January 2013.
“He’s hanging up his boots, he will not be available to play again,” Rosler added.
“It’s the end of an era – but also the beginning of one.”
Pollitt revealed that he did have opportunities to carry on playing the game but the opportunity to work with international goalkeepers in a coaching capacity with Wigan was one that was “too good a chance to miss”.
“It’s going to be a bit strange at first, changing in a different dressing room and having to coach former team mates,” he admitted to the club’s official website.
“But it’s something I will have to get used to quickly, having MP on my top rather than the Number 12!
“This is the next stage of my career and I am fortunate to be given the chance. I’ve been in the game 25 years, worked under so many different coaches and I’m looking forward to being able to put that experience into use in creating my own training sessions. On top of that I’m finishing off my coaching badges and this is an amazing opportunity for me at a club I know so well and have been very happy at. I can’t wait to get started.
“Scott (Carson), Ali (Al Habsi) and Lee (Nicholls) are fantastic keepers in their own right and we are blessed to have such quality in this department at the club. My job now is to keep them developing as players and for them to be sharp and ready to play, but it’ll be up to the gaffer who gets the nod come match day.”