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Tom Huddlestone and Shadab Iftikhar Join Wigan Athletic's Coaching Staff

Image: Wigan Athletic FC

Tom Huddlestone has linked up again with his old teammate Shaun Maloney after being named the new first team coach at Wigan Athletic.

The pair played together at Hull City a decade ago and Latics boss Maloney believes Football Careers client Huddlestone can play a key role in helping the League One club push for a return to the Championship.

Fellow Football Careers client Shadab Iftikhar has also been appointed to the first team coaching staff at Wigan after a year in charge of the Pakistan international U20 side.

Former Tottenham Hotspur star Huddlestone — who won four England caps during an illustrious career — has spent the past two seasons as a player-coach with Manchester United, working with the club’s U21 team.

And he believes the knowledge and experience he has gained at Old Trafford will prove invaluable as he, Iftikhar, and Maloney bid to resurrect the fortunes of Wigan after two troubled seasons.

The 37-year-old, who also starred for Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers, said:

“The last two years at Manchester United have been really educational from a coaching standpoint.

“Every day, I have had the privilege of learning from amazing people, gaining insights into all aspects of player development.

“This experience has been eye-opening, revealing the dedication involved in planning, executing, and analysing every training session, as well as meticulously preparing for the games schedule.

“It’s given me the ambition as coaching is something I want to do long-term, and I’m grateful to have this opportunity at Wigan at the beginning of my coaching journey.

“For any senior professionals considering a coaching career, I highly recommend taking on a ‘playing coach’ role for a season or two at the end of your playing career.”

For Iftikhar, the switch to Wigan means a return to familiar territory. In one of his first jobs in football, he worked as a scout for former boss Roberto Martinez, who took him to Everton in a similar role and also employed him as a scout for the Belgian national team during the Euro 2020 campaign.

Far-travelled Iftikhar has also held coaching and managerial roles in Mongolia, Samoa, and the UK with Accrington Stanley in England and Fort William in Scotland, where he made history by becoming the first British South Asian person to manage in senior Scottish football.

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