'It’s a club I hold close to me': Ex-Leeds and Bournemouth man Jason Pearce reveals Portsmouth ambition - and agonises over Charlton coaching future

Jason Pearce has spoken of his desire for a future Pompey reunion – but is agonising whether to remain at Charlton in the present.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 27th May 2022, 8:50 am
Jason Pearce made 28 appearances for Charlton in the 2021-22 campaign, but has now been released. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Jason Pearce made 28 appearances for Charlton in the 2021-22 campaign, but has now been released. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The 34-year-old is focused on a coaching career once his playing days have ended, an ambition backed up by a Uefa A Licence.

In recent times he has combined weekly coaching of Charlton’s under-15s and under-16s with first-team playing commitments for the League One outfit.

The Addicks have now released the battling centre-half, yet instead offered a coaching role as they bid to keep his talents at The Valley.

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However, with playing deals also tabled by several League One and League Two clubs, the ex-Pompey skipper is agonising over whether to instead prolong his playing career.

And it’s a potentially life-altering decision which is proving tough.

Pearce told The News: ‘I’ve been offered a coaching role at Charlton, a very good one.

‘I’m also going to speak to a couple of teams about a player-coach role, while I’ve been offered a couple of playing contracts at clubs in League One and League Two.

Jason Pearce in action for Pompey against Crystal Palace in April 2012. Picture: Barry Zee

‘It's the first time I’ve been out of contract, so I have to wait and assess my options. I’ve got to make the right call for me and my family, so we'll have to see what happens in the next few weeks.

‘I can play for another couple of years, I’m fit enough, I’ve proven this season I can still play at League One level, but, ultimately, I have to think about my longevity and long-term career.

‘It might be a case that if I have another year playing and not take a really good opportunity of coaching at Charlton, I might come to regret it.

‘So I have to sit down and seriously consider all my options. I honestly haven't decided what I’m going to do, we’ll have to see.

Jason Pearce attempts to block Jonathan Spector's shot during Pompey's trip to Birmingham City in February 2012. Picture: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

‘My future is coaching, I want to help young players coming through, give them a bit of my experience, maybe become a manager in the future. I’m not going to rush that, I’ll learn my trade of coaching now and do the best I can.

‘I either commit to a coaching role and put everything into that – or carry on playing for another couple of years. I have to weigh that up.’

Pearce arrived at Charlton in August 2016 from Wigan and subsequently amassed 175 appearances and six goals.

Pearce added: ‘I would love to come back to Pompey one day.

‘When you've got a really good affiliation with a club and come through the ranks like I have, you have that affection. It’s such a fantastic club, I’ve never forgotten it.

‘It’s a club I hold close to me, let’s see what happens in the future.’

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