Coach Kewell: My Watford boys don't remember me!

Socceroo great Harry Kewell isn't able to trade on his legend as coach of Watford's U-21 side, with some of his charges too young to even remember the former EPL star.

The 36-year-old hung up his boots at the end of the 2013-14 season, bringing his career to a close in the Hyundai A-League with Melbourne Heart.

A flying winger when he burst onto the Premier League scene with Leeds in the 1990s, injuries ruined a high-profile move to Liverpool and forced Kewell to reinvent himself as a creative attacking midfielder late in his career with club and country.

The next chapter in Kewell's relationship with professional football is imparting his advice to the new generation of promising youngsters.

More than a few ex-players have attempted to walk into a job behind the scenes based on nothing more in the way of credentials than their cache as a retired star. 

Harry Kewell scored for Liverpool Legends against Real Madrid Legends over the weekend.

Kewell though, who has largely been out of the spotlight in the UK since leaving Liverpool for Galatasary in 2008, needs to get it right on the training field and in the dressing room if he is to earn the respect of his pupils. 

"I know what it takes to play at the highest level but every player is different," he told ESPN.

"As coach of the U-21s, it's not about reminiscing because some of them don't even remember me as a player. It's more about telling them they have to push themselves to the limit to make the first team and that 90 to 95 percent of success in football is down to hard work."

The 56-cap Socceroo claimed moving into a backroom role had never been a priority before but he's adapted quickly to life with a stopwatch and clipboard.

FLASHBACK: Socceroos v Indonesia in Perth in 2005

"When I was a player, I didn't think much about being a coach because all I wanted to do is play," he said.

"But so far I'm really enjoying it. I'm loving it … I'm falling in love with coaching straight away. 

Watford Under-21 Coach Harry Kewell.

"It's hard work, you have to get your sessions and tactics right but I'm absolutely enjoying it. It's a chance to work with a Premier League club, manage the U21s and, yes, they can all play.

"I did my licenses over the summer in Northern Ireland with people like Francis Jeffers, Shola Ameobi, Robbie Blake.

"I wanted to see if I had the fire in the belly and when I did my first assessment the fire was definitely there."

Kewell's club are enjoying the excitement that goes with the early days of a return to the top flight, the Hornets having returned to the highest level of English football for the first time since 2006-07.

"There's a buzz around the club ... there's a good core of players from U-18 upwards," he said.

"It's a great learning curve for me. The manager [Quique Flores] is confident, yet very open. If you have any questions, he'll explain."