Joey Barton says the door is open for Fleetwood Town’s old boys to rejoin the club after retiring.
Andy Mangan has already come back and joined Barton’s coaching staff, having left Accrington Stanley to do so.
Mangan joined in 2011 and left in 2013, having been part of that 2011-12 team that won the Conference.
Barton’s invitation opens the door to players like Nathan Pond, who made 498 appearances for the club before making the move to Salford City last summer.
Barry Nicholson, Youl Mawene and Stephen Crainey are already at Highbury in non-playing capacities with Barton looking to emulate Bayern Munich’s model of involving their former players.
Speaking about Mangan, Barton said: “For me he is someone who is synonymous with the club in a successful period.
“I believe you have to keep those people within the fabric of your football club.
“On a bigger scale, the likes of Bayern Munich, you see lots of people dotted through their club with Bayern Munich DNA.
“At Fleetwood I think we have to have the same; we have got to have that kind of care running through your club.
“People who have been part of the journey and have been part of the club in a successful era, if they truly care about the club, can be incredible people as part of the club’s journey going forward as scouts and coaches.
“We have a former players club here, Stuart Murdoch, who is a part of keeping that going.
“I think it is important to recognise people who have done great things for the club.
“One of the criticisms labelled at me is that I have released players that have been club icons and legends, whether it be Nathan Pond and Bobby Grant.
“I didn’t see Nathan playing in our first team and it kind of ran its course.
“As I said at the time, if those guys want to come back and want to come back into scouting, coaching, ambassadorial roles, I think it is important that people who have given their heart and soul on the pitch for your club, that there is a role for them beyond football because you cannot play football forever.
“I think the club do that particularly well with the ex-players and I think it is important to lock in this generation of players.
“I think football clubs do have a duty of care to look after their own, especially when they have been fantastic people for the club.”