Derby County captain keen on "fairytale ending" before move to coaching

Conor Hourihane joined Derby County after they dropped down to League One
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Derby County captain Conor Hourihane has revealed that he is nearing the end of his career.

The 33 year-old has had a lot of success in the past with the likes of Aston Villa, Barnsley and Plymouth Argyle.

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He has now said that he wants to look at a career in management after his playing career ends which could happen after his time at Derby.

He joined the Rams after they dropped down to League One following the period in administration back in 2022.

Hourihane told BBC Sport: "I heard a lot of stories about the bad times, and it sounded terrible for a club like this to get into that position.

"Luckily the club came through it, and it's going from strength to strength now and hopefully the fairytale ending will be promotion this year.

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"I'd love to get promoted before finishing up, especially a promotion for a club that has been through such terrible times."

The Irishman added that he wants to move into coaching, something that his captaincy on and off the field could help with.

He added: "When I left Villa when I was 31, I was probably scared of retiring. I'm not that scared anymore."

Hourihane looks at the current class of managers under 40 and admits seeing a possible route for him to go into management earlier than he would have originally expected.

"It's a road I'm going down for sure.

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"I definitely think there is a young crop of managers now who are coming through. Look at the Championship, obviously there is Liam Rosenior, Liam Manning, Russell Martin, and [Steven] Schumacher at Stoke and people like that.

"That does give you hope that that clubs are going that direction. And for me it's about being the best prepared I can be for when I finish."

The midfielder has made almost 500 career appearances and will be hoping he can end his career on a high with Derby or perhaps somewhere else next season and beyond.