Skuse on his coaching notebook, following Chambers and his starting place as he reaches 200 Town games
PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 March 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Cole Skuse almost appears embarrassed as he reveals just how thorough he is being as he prepares for life after football.
The midfielder recently extended his stay in the Ipswich Town midfield until at least 2020, after signing a new two-year contract, with the announcement of his new deal focusing heavily on his desire to smoothly move into coaching at Portman Road once his playing days are over.
Skuse’s potential transition is not a new idea, it’s something the 31-year-old has been thinking about for some time as he ponders life after football, while he has also spoken to the club’s academy bosses about getting involved with the youngsters there.
And as he prepares for the end of a playing career that he hopes still has a few years left to run, Skuse is already planning for the future.
He is booked on to do his coaching badges this summer, while a small notebook at his home contains hints and tips he’s picked up over the years.
“As sad as it may seems I’ve got a little notebook at home and you go away and take a little point from a session you’ve done or team talks, anything, I just jot it in the book,” Skuse said.
“I’ve been doing it a little while. It’s not something you would go home and do religiously, because as soon as I get home I’m usually walking dogs or changing nappies, but it’s something I jot down now and again.
“If I come away from training and I think ‘that was brilliant, I like what we did there’ then I will make a note on it.
“It’s gaffers in the past as well, coaches in the past, too. You pick up bits and bobs from all of them.
“You just take things on board because they’ve been around for donkeys’ years, although they may not appreciate me saying that. They’ve been in the game a long, long time so they have that knowledge of how to conduct themselves during training and off the field as well.
“You try and be a bit of a sponge, really. The academy staff like Bryan Klug, Lee O’Neill and Gerard Nash, they are all fantastic coaches.
“The gaffer is quite open in as much as you can go and talk to him about anything, football or non-football.”
While the ultra-consistent midfielder jokes about following close friend Luke Chambers, who himself has talked about becoming a manager in the future, into a first-team role elsewhere, Skuse sees himself more of an academy coach than prowling a professional touchline.
And the Bristolian sees no reason why he won’t begin his second career in Suffolk, having grown attached to the area since moving in 2013, while he is impressed with the crop of youngsters currently at the club.
“That’s dependent on Chambo,” he joked, when asked where he might begin his coaching career. “If Chambo gets a first team job somewhere I’m hoping he will take me with him.
“I don’t have a real burning desire or aspirations to be a first team manager, I don’t think that’s for me. A first team coach, maybe. But I would definitely like to work in the top end of an academy, maybe with the older players.
“I’ll be trying to do my bit of coaching, coaching them not to be like myself.
“If I can turn my hand to a bit of coaching during the week and, getting to the tail end of my contract, maybe a bit more, then I would love to stick around and be part of the club.
“There is a great crop in and around the first team squad just beneath us and, even younger than that, we have seen how well the boys did in the FA Youth Cup where they had a really good run.”
Since moving to Portman Road, Skuse has been a near ever-present under McCarthy and is set to make his 200th appearance when the Blues face Hull on Saturday.
He accepts, though, that as he battles Father Time, his starting place may not be as secure as it has been during his stay in Suffolk.
“I’m not daft enough to think I’m still 22 or 23 and can play for many years ahead, so I’m just going about my business and if I’m selected, I’m selected,” he said.
“I’m delighted to have got it (new contract) done and to be staying, though.
“I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been thinking about it because I’ve got a family to look after. I’ve got kids at school and things like that.
“With my wife being heavily pregnant this means there is less stress for her to deal with, so to get the deal done now rather than waiting until the summer when she’s due is nice.
“So thanks to the lads, the gaffer and the hierarchy for their help in getting the new deal, and it’s nice to get it signed.
“I’m excited for the future.”