Nature progression for retired former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Ryan Mason could be coaching, says Troy Townsend
PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 February 2018
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Troy Townsend hopeful Ryan Mason will remain in the game and can picture him being the perfect role model for aspiring professional footballers
Ryan Mason would have so much to offer as a coach according to Troy Townsend, who watched the 26-year-old progress through the Tottenham Hotspur academy and into the Spurs first-team.
The Londoner had to call time on his professional career last week, on February 13, after failing to recover from the fractured skull he suffered on January 22 2017.
It led to an outpouring of well wishes and tributes to the former Spurs man, who played for the club on 70 occasions before he left to join Hull City in August 2016.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino immediately insisted the door is open for Mason if he wants to return to the club and Townsend, who saw first-hand his development, believes he would be a great role model to youngsters.
“Mauricio has already said there is a place for Ryan at Spurs and something for him to do when he is ready and I do believe the ultimate next step for him would be coaching,” said Townsend.
“He has to want to do it and no one would want to force him to do something he may not be ready for just yet, but he is young, so he can take his time with it.
“I just think you can imagine it and envisage Ryan working with a group of under-18s or under-16s at a club like Spurs and he has played at the highest level and he is still young enough to put the ball down and show them in a creative way something to do.
“Personally I would love for him to stay in the game and I would love for him to see the game as his future.
“It is massively disappointing it’s not in a playing perspective, but I believe he would have so much to offer from a coaching aspect or as a mentor for young people.
“He is so in touch with the game and hopefully it would be something that is just a natural progression for him.”
What has been noticeable since Mason announced his retirement is the amount of people praising his intelligence.
And with that in mind, it would be a shame if that smartness wasn’t used to help the next generation of footballers.
Townsend added: “You could see Ryan’s intelligence from a very, very young age. It was just the way he read the game.
“I think he proved his intelligence in the Premier League in the way he used to play where he would keep the ball ticking over.
“He wouldn’t spend too much time on the ball, but could pick passes and see things and you have to have a certain eye to see and also execute the things which showed his ability, so you could see the awareness and creativity from a very young age.”
Mason, when discussing a potential career in coaching, recently revealed Tottenham is in his DNA having spent 18 years at the club.
Kick It Out’s Townsend believes working under Alex Inglethorpe, Chris Ramsey and John McDermott would have certainly rubbed off on the one-time England man.
He added: “I have to applaud Spurs for the way they treat the young players and they create more than just a player. It might be a difficult thing for people to understand, but they do.
“I would imagine a number of the Tottenham players who were part of the youth-team set-up when Ryan was breaking through will, somewhere along the line, see coaching as something they want to do.
“Firstly all the young lads had great role models in the shape of Inglethorpe, Ramsey, McDermott and many more, so they were all father figures who made them think outside the box.
“Not only when it came to the playing side, but also in the way they would analyse games, so I think they all got a great understanding of football and being a smart lad anyway, Ryan would have picked all of that up.”
Mason’s retirement was only confirmed last week, but Townsend makes a great point and Spurs do have a history of bringing back former players as coaches.
Scott Parker returned to the club last summer to become the under-18s coach while academy graduate Rob Burch now coaches the goalkeepers at the academy.
You suspect the next ex-player to return could be Mason. It’s a huge shame he has been forced to retire, but it could pave the way for a great career in coaching and regardless of what he does next, you can bet he will give everything to succeed.