Michael Owen has recently announced that he will hang up hos football boots for good this summer, after an illustrious but injury plagued soccer career. The ex-Liverpool, Real Madrid and England forward will work on as a pundit for BT Sports in the media realm, but there is a very real opportunity that he could spend more time focusing on horse racing than soccer.
It is not unusual for athletes to trade the round ball for the race track. Former professional footballers Mick Channon and Micky Quinn have moved into horse training after their soccer careers ended, and the Betfair odds of Owen doing something similar are favourable.
Although Owen may well have one eye on soccer coaching, with ambitions of potentially managing or coaching in the Premier League one day, being a horse racing trainer could be another string to his bow. To take up a role in this field would keep him heavily involved in sport, build up his confidence and competence in training and help him developing coaching principles that could be translated to soccer if that is the path that he chooses to take.
Getting your first step into management and coach can be very difficult. It is largely a catch 22 situation that you can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job. Owen will need to get his coaching qualifications, and then cross his fingers that one of the bigger clubs give him a chance. Like other former professionals he may well have to start in the lower leagues as a coach, and work his way toward the elite of the game.
Until then don’t be surprised to see Owen at the race course, as he regularly shares tips with his Twitter followers, and owns a number of prize-winning horses. His main passion may well be soccer, but horse racing is a close runner up.