He was linked with his first managerial post this summer. But Charlie Adam insists he’s not yet ready to hang up his boots.
The former Rangers, Liverpool and Stoke City star was suggested as a potential candidate for the gaffer’s job at hometown club, Dundee, before James McPake’s appointment in May.
Instead, the midfielder signed a one-year deal with Championship hopefuls Reading, and is happy to bide his time before moving into the dugout.
But he’s thinking about how he’ll approach the next stage of his career, and he intends to follow the example set by Steven Gerrard at Rangers.
“I’m not ready to stop playing,” Adam said. “I want to keep going as long as I can – at as high a level as I can – because I still feel I’ve got a lot to offer.
“At this point in my career, I see myself as a person that younger players, or anyone I’m playing with, can come and speak to and ask my opinion on things.
“If they ask me how they’re doing, I’ll always try to give an honest opinion.
“That’s because whenever an opportunity to become a manager or a coach does come along, I want to be in that habit.
“Honesty is a big thing in the game.
“I see people criticising Steven Gerrard at the moment because he’s ‘too honest’. Nonsense. He’s not too honest. There’s no such thing.
“We played together at Liverpool, so I know that’s the kind of person he is. He says it how he sees it.
“And that’s how I am as a person and as a player.
“If I feel that a team I’m part of isn’t having a good time, I’ll voice my opinion, and I’ll say what I think, because it’s important that people know the truth.
“There’s no point sugar-coating things. You have to be open and upfront because it’s a man’s game. We’re not kids.
“If there are problems, they have to be dealt with and moved on from.
“That’s the way I’ve always been as a person and as a player and, hopefully, if the opportunity comes to move into coaching, that’s how I’ll be as a manager.
“I’ll try to be as honest with players as possible.”
After seven, mostly successful years at Stoke City, Adam bade farewell at the end of last season.
At 33, he recognises that many managers are looking for younger players. So when the Reading opportunity arose, he didn’t need to think twice.
“Another crack at the Championship was appealing,” he said. “You always want to play at the highest level you can.
“I had a few offers to go abroad this summer, and a few others in England that appealed to me.
“But I wanted to keep playing in the Championship, so Reading was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
“There were no offers from Scottish teams. Nothing. Not one Scottish club got in touch.
“But that’s football. Everybody is looking for younger players, and that’s the case in England, too.
“At the moment, I’m fortunate enough that I’ve got a contract.
“I know there are a lot of good players out there who don’t, so when an opportunity comes along at a club like Reading, you’ve got to take it.
“But, no, coming back to Scotland was never an option for me this summer.”
Moving to a club just outside London will bring personal upheaval for Adam, who has been based in the north of England since moving to Blackpool from Rangers.
But the midfielder is ready to give his new club his all, just like every other side he has represented.
“It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to,” he said.
“It has been a tough couple of years at Stoke, but this is something new.
“It’s a fresh start for me and for Reading, where the manager (Jose Gomes) has got his ideas over after coming in midway through last season from Portugal.
“He felt he wanted a couple of experienced players in to help the younger guys out, and I feel I’ve got a lot to offer.
“It’s a tough league. There are times when you can play, but there are times when you have to roll your sleeves up, too.
“You have to have the steel and character to go places and get results.
“What will be different for me is the family situation. They will still be at home and I’ll be down in Reading a lot of the time.
“I’ve got young kids, so we’re going to have to juggle between both and see how it works out.”