Sir Alex Ferguson’s message to youngsters stuck with Paul McShane

Manchester United defender Paul McShane has revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson’s message to youngsters has helped him in his coaching career to date.

The former Republic of Ireland international, aged 35, returned to Old Trafford this summer as a player-coach. He initially left the club for regular football in 2006, joining West Brom, and comes back with a wealth of experience from playing up and down the leagues.

United are pioneers of an apparent Premier League trend in bringing McShane back to the club. In the summer, Southampton also appointed a former academy player in the shape of 32-year-old Olly Lancashire, to a specialist role with the aim of imparting their experience on peers sometimes over half their age.

Unfortunately for McShane, he never got to make his professional debut for Manchester United, but still enjoyed being put through his paces by Sir Alex Ferguson and his coaching staff while representing the U23s.

He recently explained how those experiences at United have helped him in the long run throughout his career as a footballer.

“I remember he always said to enjoy the journey as a professional footballer and I try and tell the lads that,” McShane told Goal.

“Sometimes I need to tell myself that too because when you’re so involved in the game there are tough moments and I know when I was a young lad I wanted to try and succeed yesterday.

“So I try and tell the lads to enjoy it as much as they can and take one day at a time, but it’s easier said than done.

“I think that was the main thing that Sir Alex told me that sticks in my mind, to enjoy the journey.”

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