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Saturday 23 September 2017

"Crazy" Ryan Giggs relishing new United role

Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs

Simon Stone

"Crazy" Ryan Giggs has acknowledged this season is going to be a balancing act.

The long-serving Manchester United star will break new ground in the 2013/14 campaign after agreeing to join David Moyes' backroom team.

Practically speaking, it means Giggs will start getting more involved in team meetings rather than assisting Moyes with his work on the training ground.

For Giggs believes he still has a major contribution to make on the pitch, his hunger for success not sated, even after 22 years and 13 Premier League titles.

"Crazy, aren't I?" the 39-year-old said. "I'm enjoying it just as much as I did 20 years ago. It's as simple as that.

"Every year is a bonus to me. Take last year: winning the league, that feeling you have after the hard work you put in. Winning that trophy makes it all worthwhile."

Giggs accepts there is a balancing act to perform, even though his twin role is not entirely an alien concept.

Twelve months ago Stuart Pearce asked Giggs to do a very similar thing for the Great Britain Olympic squad.

It is a life after football Giggs is taking admirable care to prepare for, even flying to Turkey this summer to go through more work on his coaching badges.

However, for now, his time will need to be managed very carefully.

"I am excited about it personally and it has worked well so far," the Welshman said.

"But it is about getting the balancing act right because I am still playing. There is not a big emphasis on coaching at the moment.

"The manager likes to coach and there is Jim Lumsden, Steve Round and Phil Neville. It is more looking behind the scenes and seeing how everything works.

"It is completely different from playing. Even though I have been playing for 20-odd years, I am seeing the other side of it; how you prepare for games.

"Some things I knew, others I didn't. It has been a real education."

Giggs has been spoken of as a potential United manager of the future, even though he has never managed at any level.

With Neville and Nicky Butt also on board and Paul Scholes mulling over whether he wants to stay involved as well, the core of the side that brought United so much success down the years remains a major influence.

Yet the man who guided them through is no longer around.

Sir Alex Ferguson is presently on a cruise around Scotland.

For the first time in his club career, Giggs is having to get used to a new voice.

"It is strange for someone like myself, who has known him for so long," he said.

"It's different, but you just get on with it. It is important to look forward, not back.

"This is the start of the journey this season and I hope to be lifting a trophy again at the end of it."

Robin van Persie, David De Gea and Antonio Valencia are expected to link up with United on the second leg of their pre-season tour which surprisingly opened with a 1-0 defeat to Singha All Stars in Bangkok yesterday.

After coming off a long journey and having only 10 hours sleep in three days, Giggs was not too down at the outcome.

And there were reasons to be positive in the performances of new boy Wilfried Zaha, while, like most observers, Giggs was enthused by the performance of 18-year-old Belgian Adnan Januzaj.

"Adnan is talented," Giggs said. "He has shown his talent in training because he has trained with us quite a bit in pre-season. Now he has done well in a match situation.

"He looks a really good prospect and will gain a lot of experience by playing in front of such big crowds.

"He is only young and you don't want to get ahead of yourself. Now it is just about learning from the older players and doing what he does best."

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