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Obika ends playing career to take Motherwell coaching role

Motherwell striker Jon Obika has retired from playing and accepted an offer to join the club's coaching staff for next season.

Englishman Obika, 33, joined the Fir Park club in February 2023, inititally on loan, but was restricted to just 14 appearances last season because of a recurring hamstring problem.

He hangs up his boots having played more than 400 games in a 15-year career that started at Tottenham and included spells at clubs including Crystal Palace, Brighton, Oxford and St Mirren.

Obika cited Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell as a "big part" of his decision to call time on his playing career and focus on coaching.

"I just feel this is where I'm supposed to be," said Obika. "When reflecting back, I just knew this opportunity doesn't come around often under people you value and respect. I feel honoured.

"When he [Kettlewell] first came in, just watching how he took over and across the 18 months seeing him work, he is someone you want to deliver for. I feel in this role I can deliver for him."

Kettlewell believes Obika's experience and personality is a "perfect combination" for coaching.

"Obviously it's been a big decision from Jon to hang up his boots and one we wanted him to take his time over," the manager added.

"Thankfully he has agreed to our proposal and now we can look forward to him bringing fresh ideas to the backroom team next season."

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[BBC]