Jermain Defoe will join Rangers manager Steven Gerrard’s backroom team after signing a new one-year player/coach deal.
The veteran former England striker faced a decision on whether or not to continue playing after claiming his first winners’ medal at the age of 38 after Gers’ Premiership title triumph. Gerrard’s men romped to their first title in 10 years after going through the entire campaign unbeaten.
Defoe has decided to delay hanging up his boots for another season at least after taking up an offer to take his first steps into coaching alongside former Three Lions team-mate Gerrard.
Rangers posted on Instagram: “Jermain Defoe has today agreed a new, one year contract with Rangers and now moves into a player/coach role.”
On his new contract and role, a delighted Defoe told the official Rangers website: “It is well-documented how much I love the club and the relationship I have with the fans, the players and the staff at the club.
“So to get the deal over the line, I am just delighted. It is something I wanted to happen, even before the season finished, especially the way we finished the season with winning the league.
“It was the perfect time to be at the football club and it was so special. To sign another contract as a player/coach, and to still be a part of it, it is an amazing feeling for me and my family.
“It is something different and it is something new for me, and first of all, I want to thank the board, Ross [Wilson] and the manager and all the staff that have made this happen.
“It is an unbelievable opportunity for me and it just shows the appreciation I get from everyone at the football club which is the best feeling in the world more than anything else, and I can imagine once I get started, hopefully I will just flow into it and everything will happen quite naturally.”
Gerrard delighted to keep Defoe on board
Gerrard added: “I am absolutely delighted to be retaining the services of Jermain both as a player, and now also as a coach.
“It is well-documented the relationship I have with him having known him for so many years, and I am thrilled that he is going to be passing on his amazing experience and professionalism to the attacking players throughout the club.
“He has shown this season, however, what an asset he can still be for us on the pitch, and I won’t be afraid to use him when necessary. I look forward to Jermain’s return and him beginning his new role when pre-season begins at the end of the month.”
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