Former Liverpool and England striker 'a huge asset for Wigan Athletic'

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Former Liverpool and England striker Rickie Lambert has set his sights on a career in management after taking his first step on the ladder with the Wigan Athletic Academy.

The 41-year-old - a former team-mate of Latics Head of Academy Gregor Rioch at Macclesfield back in 2001 - has recently taken up a casual contract on a part-time basis at Stadium Way.

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Having initially come to the club on a volunteer basis, to work on his badges and gaining experience, Lambert has impressed all with his attitude and his ambition.

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Rickie Lambert scores against Latics during his playing careerRickie Lambert scores against Latics during his playing career
Rickie Lambert scores against Latics during his playing career

And he is already eyeing a long-term path towards becoming a first team No.1.

“This is a new chapter in my career where I am keen to learn and grow as a coach," he said.

"Of course coaching is different to playing, but I am excited about the future.

“I have known Gregor Rioch for a long time and I know what a great job the Academy coaches do at Wigan.

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"You only have to look at the amount of home-grown players in the first team."

Lambert has been working predominantly with the club's Under-15 and Under-16s, on Wednesday nights and at the weekend.

The next step will be moving up to the Under-18s and Under-21s.

And he'll also be welcomed into the first-team environment, picking up tis from the club's senior management and coaches.

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"The 15s and 16s are a talented group of individuals, and I saw that in their Professional Development League Cup final against Peterborough United," added Lambert.

"Chris Brown has been a big help to me and I am learning a lot from him.

“I am looking forward to helping them and passing on as much information and experience as I can.

"If I can play a small part in their journey then that is great and I am sure that will help me on my journey as a coach with my ultimate ambition to, one day, be a manager."

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The arrangement suits both parties, according to ex-team-mate Rioch.

"It's about facilitating people's ambitions, that's what we're all about," he said.

"Rickie is a very ambitious young man, and we'll do everything we can to help him realise his dreams.

"He's already made a great impression on everyone here, and we're enjoying having him here."

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