Scotland: Darren Fletcher sees future in management but could 'possibly' play again

Darren Fletcher
Darren Fletcher has not played since the end of last season when he left Stoke City - but has not ruled out a return to the pitch

Former Scotland captain Darren Fletcher says he aspires to a future in management, but could still "possibly" play for a club side.

The 35-year-old midfielder left Stoke City at the end of last season, but has not officially retired.

While currently focused on his coaching badges, Fletcher is not ruling out returning to a role on the pitch.

"It would have to be something that was really appealing," he told BBC Scotland.

"I've not officially retired yet for a few different reasons.

"There would have to be a number of different factors - I'm very happy with what I've achieved in my career."

Speaking after the launch of the Neale Cooper Cruyff Court in Aberdeen, a project launched by Aberdeen council and the Denis Law Legacy Trust, Fletcher admitted he does not feel ready yet to take on a managerial post.

The former Manchester United midfielder is the third most-capped Scotland player with 80 appearances, and believes his previous role as captain could stand him in good stead for a role in management.

"It's always something I thought I would go into," Fletcher admitted. "I love the game, would love to still be involved in the game, coaching and speaking in dressing rooms and motivating players. Inspiring players comes naturally to me so hopefully that transcends to management.

"A managerial role is something I definitely see in my future but at the same time I don't feel I'm quite ready yet. I need to go and define what I would be as a manager, finish my coaching badges, try and take in as much experience as I can from different clubs around the world, the UK, and speak to as many people as possible and try and prepare myself for when I do make that step.

"Hopefully it's not too far in the future, but as of now any opportunities that came round I wouldn't be ready to take."

Scotland host Israel at Hampden Park in March in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final, and if they progress will travel to face the winner of Norway and Serbia for a spot at the finals.

Fletcher believes Scotland are "favourites" for the Israel game and the national side's players have shown they can be a threat away from home.

"We've got great players who can play on the counter-attack, dynamic midfielders who can get box-to-box," he said. "We've seen Celtic's and Rangers' results away from home. These players are used to playing away and are starting to get results - that can only breed confidence and hopefully that transcends to the national team.

"There were positive signs in the last couple of games for Steve Clarke and the players. He's kept the same formation and now we're seeing the results of that.

"Everybody needs to get behind the players, behind the manager, pack out Hampden and give them all the support they need. Whatever team is picked, get behind it - and let's get us to a major tournament because it would do wonders for the country."