Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate setting his sights on move into management

The former England international will be hanging up his boots at the end of the 2015/16 Championship campaign.

Former England and Real Madrid star Jonathan Woodgate has his sights set firmly on a future in management, but he will still be on call for Middlesbrough until he hangs up his boots at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old defender, who turns 36 early next year, is yet to feature for Boro in the league this season after agreeing a new 12-month deal in the summer - but he always made it clear that this would be his final campaign.

Woodgate is happy to 'play if needed' and is hoping to have some role under Aitor Karanka - although his only appearance thus far has been in the League Cup.

“I will probably be done after this season but I will see what happens. For now I will be there when the manager needs me. When he wants me to play, I’ll play," he told the Football League Paper.

“We’ve got some terrific centre-halves at the club who are doing really well. I will just try to support them. In training I will try to offer advice but the team is playing some great stuff at the moment.

“After I’ve finished playing my ambition is to go in to coaching and then management but there is still an awful long way to go.”

Woodgate is already working with some of the club’s younger age groups, with academy boss Dave Parnaby allowing him to spend time with the Under-16s.

“I have taken the Under-16s for the odd sessions just to get my minutes in for the B Licence qualification," he continued.

“Dave has asked me to follow one of the teams and just help out when I can. So I have been doing that just to get a feel for it. It’s great seeing a kid develop and if I can help in that development, it would be fantastic.

“I’ve got to do my A Licence after my B and the intention is to follow that with the Pro Licence, which is going to take some time but at the moment that’s my pathway. That will take three to four years. You can still get a job without your Pro Licence but my aim is to get all my qualifications.”

Woodgate could be on the bench this weekend as Fernando Amorebieta is unable to face his parent club Fulham on Saturday, which will likely mean Ben Gibson returning to partner Daniel Ayala in the heart of the defence.

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