KARL Brown hopes to return to Bolton cricket with Atherton one day.

The former Lancashire batsman was released from Emirates Old Trafford at the end of last summer after a 13-year professional career.

He has done some coaching at Horwich Cricket Club during the winter and recently started a new job as the senior cricket coach at Cheadle Hulme School.

He will combine his new career with playing as a professional for Lancashire League side Accrington in 2019.

The 30-year-old Atherton man, who honed his cricketing talent in the Bolton and District Cricket Association before beginning his professional career, however, admits a return to his boyhood club is an appealing prospect in years to come.

“I’ve had conversations with people at Atherton,” he said. "That’s the place I grew up, and it’s close to my heart.

“I know a lot of people at the club, and I think that’s something I will look into in the future.

"Whether it be coaching or playing, I would love to go back there one day. I can definitely see that happening."

Brown has kept up with his old club's fortunes which have seen the Higham Park side promoted from the Association division and drop back down from the Premiership in the last two seasons.

“I know relegation wasn’t great last season, but they are in a transitional period and are looking to get more of a settled team," he said.

"I think the future looks bright. They have some great people down there with the best interests of the club at heart.”

Brown, a County Championship and T20 Blast winner with Lancashire, admits he is “100-per-cent retired” from pro cricket after holding discussions with a number of counties about a move.

He said: “It didn’t quite work out for one reason or another. The moving and starting again thing was something I was struggling to get my head around.

“In the end, it was the right time to move away from that. I had a 13-year career which I could have only dreamt of when I started, and I’ve no regrets about any decisions.”

Brown started his new role at Cheadle Hulme at the start of the New Year.

He is coaching the boys' first team and also looks after girls' cricket as well as keeping an eye out for young talent coming through, such as Archie Vaughan and George Chapple, sons of Michael and Glen.

“It’s full-time,” he said.

“During the week we’ll be doing group training at lunchtimes and after school, and also one-to-ones in between.

“I’ve also been doing a bit of football stuff, so taking teams on Saturday mornings when they have their games.

“It’s been brilliant, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far.

“Initially, I wasn’t looking at going into coaching. I had chatted to Glen Chapple at Lancashire about maybe doing some work on the ground staff at Old Trafford.

“But I did some coaching at Horwich through Mick Fletcher who rang me and asked if I could help out before Christmas. I also did some stuff at Bolton School on an MCC course.

“I really enjoyed it, so I looked around to see if there was anything available. This role came up, and I thought it would be the perfect fit.”

With first-team opportunities at Lancashire limited last year and with his contract up, Brown started to think about life away from the game.

“There was a time when I was worried about it,” he added. “It’s always a tough time when you come to the end of your playing career. It was a funny time wondering what I’d do.

“But it’s worked out nicely, and I feel really lucky.

“To still play cricket at a really good level with Accrington is perfect. Most of their cricket is on Sundays, which works quite well.”