THE recent news of Steven Davis retirement has had me thinking about my own retirement this week.

Retirement is a very individual thing - there can be no ‘one size fits all’ guide to hanging up your boots.

Every sports person knows that there will come a day where they need to step away.

I was very grateful that it was a decision that I could make - I could have maybe played on a little bit longer.

That would have meant joining a new club and uprooting the family. I didn’t want to do that so the decision was clear to me.

But that isn’t always the case for people who have to retire through injury or illness.

I can see how it is a difficult thing for people to come to terms with - some really struggle with the process.

Losing that sense of camaraderie and brotherhood in the dressing room is tough.

You also lose the one thing your life has revolved around up to that point.

When you first retire there is the novelty of living your life in a way that is not dictated by the football calendar.

For example, you can go away on holiday during the season.

Seeing people reading a newspaper with football reports on the back page was a weird thing to adjust to.

But I would never describe these inconveniences as a downside because there are so many positives to what we do.

Looking back, I should have probably taken a bit of time out of the game.

While I remain very grateful to Southampton for the opportunity, jumping straight into coaching was a tough adjustment.

I went from changing with the lads one morning to getting ready with the coaches the next.

Ultimately, it has taken me many years to find myself loving what I do for a living.

From a happiness perspective, I now find myself being the most fulfilled I’ve been since retiring.

Finding the next thing is a difficult thing for most players. It can be dauting trying to find yourself again.

It’s for that reason that I will be following what Steven decides to do next in his life with great interest.

During his esteemed playing career, Steven was an ultimate professional both on and off the field. It's for that reason so many of his former clubs still call him a legend - Saints included.

I never played alongside him, but everyone I have spoken to about him could not have spoken higher of him.

You only have to look at what he has achieved in the game - especially his record number of caps for a British player.

More importantly, knowing him off the pitch, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time I’ve spent with him.

Without knowing for sure if it is something he wishes to do in the near future, I can see him being a successful coach.

He has already got a taste for it during his time as Rangers interim boss - and I’m told there are reports linking him to a job in the Northern Ireland set up.

In a football sense, he would have a huge amount to offer back to the game - but staying in the game is not for everybody.

Time with family when you retire is so important and jumping back into coaching could limit that.

On a personal note, I was thrilled to hear that my daughter Kenzie and her husband Lewis are expecting their first child.

It is really exciting for the family, especially Karen and I, to be welcoming another grandchild into the family.