Huddersfield Town captain Mark Hudson has retired from playing and will immediately join the club’s Premier League coaching staff.
And head coach David Wagner says the 35-year-old, who is studying for his UEFA A coaching licence , is a vital part in the success of the club and was seen in coaching gear on the pre-season trip to Austria.
Hudson hoisted the promotion trophy with on-field captain Tommy Smith at Wembley at the end of May, when Town defeated Reading on penalties in the Chapionship play-off final.
He was also promoted to the top flight with Saturday’s opponents Crystal Palace in 2004 and with Cardiff four years ago (he was their player of the year).
Wagner said: “I’m very happy that Mark is becoming part of my backroom staff.
“From my first day in England, Mark has been one of the biggest positives. He is a huge influence in our dressing room – a total professional with a winning mentality – and that was why securing his future to Huddersfield Town was so important last April.
“As a player and a potential coach, it was vital that we keep Mark here.
“Make no mistake, Mark made a huge contribution to the success this club enjoyed in 2016/17, both through his performances on the field and his influence off it.
“I believe the qualities that Mark has as a person and a footballer should make him an excellent coach.
“I know retirement can feel like a sad day as a former player, but he has so much still to give this club and football and that is exciting.
“We will all help Mark as much as we can as he makes the transition into coaching and continues to learn, but I’m sure he will still be a big help and influence on our squad as we prepare for the Premier League.”
Also a League Cup runner-up, Hudson has 460 games under his belt largely across the top two divisions, and he’s played 109 games for Town in three Championship campaigns.
His transition to coaching was envisaged when Hudson signed a new three-year contract at Town April last year.
The exact role in the coaching set-up will be defined soon.