Andy Murray: 'I'll focus on football after tennis'

Murray: 'I'll focus on football after tennis'

10/01/2017 at 08:56Updated 10/01/2017 at 09:57

Andy Murray has revealed he could pursue a career in football coaching after he ends his golden career in tennis.

Murray supports Edinburgh club Hibernian, whom his grandfather Roy Erskine played for in the 1950s, and was asked to train with Glasgow Rangers as a kid, but rejected the chance to focus on his tennis career.

He will maintain a commitment to tennis, but admits he would like to revisit the national sport after he retires.

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"Something within British tennis probably, potentially coaching another player. I would like to do something in football. I watch loads of it. I am into my fantasy sports a lot. "
2011 Tennis Charity football match Andy Murray

2011 Tennis Charity football match Andy MurrayReuters

"I would like to try my hand at coaching at some stage, but I wouldn't think immediately after I finish. I would like to spend a lot of time at home with family and see my child, or children, growing up."

Murray - who will bid for a first Australian Open title in Melbourne next week - did not immediately accept his knighthood due to concerns that it may have an adverse impact on his career.

Murray was announced as the recipient of a knighthood in the New Year's Honours list, capping his best year to date in which he won Wimbledon for a second time, retained his Olympic title and topped the world rankings for the first time.

But at the age of 29, the Scot has plenty of time to add to his growing list of accomplishments and he briefly worried a knighthood may prove an unnecessary weight on his shoulders, after being informed by wife Kim via an email of the honour.

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Murray, who was on a training camp in Miami at the time, told the Times: "I got it when I woke up in the morning, just saying that I had been offered and (asking) would I like to accept.

"I spoke to a few of the people closest to me. I didn't have too long, but obviously you think about something like that because I do feel like it's obviously a big honour, but with that comes maybe a little bit more responsibility. "

"I'm still very young, I'm still competing and obviously don't want anything to distract me or affect my performance on the court."

Murray accepted the knighthood after discussing the issue with Kim and mother Judy - although brother Jamie was not confided in and only found out on the night of the announcement.

He said: "I kept it fairly quiet and just spoke to the people that I was closest with and explained what the situation was. I just tried to get the best advice possible."

But the honour is already proving mildly awkward for Murray, who added: "A few of the players have been chatting to me about it and asking how it works, what does it mean and what do we call you. Andy is fine."

Additional reporting from PA Sport.

OUR VIEW - Could Murray carve out a career in football coaching?

It is not as ridiculous as it sounds. Football management used to be restricted to former players, but that has changed in recent decades.

You no longer have to show footballers your medals to justify your standing as a respected figure otherwise Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger would be nowhere. It is more important that you understand how elite athletes work, the importance of diet and nutrition, sports science and ensuring mental fitness is just as protruding as mental stamina.

Sir Clive Woodward was invited to bring his skillset to football as a technical director of Southampton after leading England to the rugby World Cup in 2003.

In such a respect, Murray has plenty of relevant experience of what is needed to succeed in professional football at the very top level. In the past, he has sought out advice from fellow Scot and Manchester United icon Sir Alex Ferguson to boost his mental fortitude before Grand Slams.

"He spoke to me a lot about the consistency of his club, and how to maintain it over the years," said Murray. "That is something that was amazing with what he did over such a long period.

"His teams were always there or there abouts. They never had two or three great seasons and then a bad one for a year."

"There were always up there. Even when they weren't playing so well, they would always find a way to win.."

Andy Murray and Sir Alex Ferguson before his 2012 US Open success.

Andy Murray and Sir Alex Ferguson before his 2012 US Open success.Eurosport

There is little doubt he could provide valuable advice to an aspiring tennis or football player. He understands the game, has a passion for it and is also a sportsman who is widely regarded and respected by various managers in the national sport. It was only a few weeks ago that Brendan Rodgers, the Celtic manager and former Liverpool coach, had this to say about Murray.

“What an example that boy is. Unbelievable," said Rodgers.

"When he started everyone said he wasn’t strong enough. So what did he do? Changes his diet, gets stronger, devotes his life to it. It’s not the glitz and the glamour with Andy, it’s about being the best he can be."

“When you have that mentality, as a footballer and a football nation, you are part of the way there. Then if you have talent, which the country will still clearly have, then you have a chance.

“Worst-case scenario, you’re going to be athletes".

Murray will not be short of offers in football if he decides it is a path he wants to pursue when he's done with chasing tennis balls across the globe.