FORMER Cherries captain Jason Pearce has announced his retirement from playing football, and will go into coaching “the next generation” at Charlton.

The 34-year-old defender played 180 times for the Dean Court side, including as part of the Greatest Escape and promotion from League Two the following season.

Pearce is a two-time Daily Echo/Micky Cave player of the year winner and joined current club Addicks from Wigan in 2016, racking up 175 appearances and seven goals.

He is now set to take up a role as an under-18 coach at the Valley, after deliberating whether to continue his playing career.

“This has been one of the most difficult decisions of my career,” Pearce explained in a statement on his Twitter account. “To stop something you love when you don’t physically have to.

“After speaking to a lot of people I trust in the game and the closest people to me, as well as a lot of thinking myself, I’ve made the decision to retire from football.

“Thank you to all the clubs I’ve been lucky to be a part of. Bognor Regis, Woking, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Leeds United, Wigan Athletic and Charlton Athletic.

“To captain every club, staying up starting the season on -17 points, to achieve three promotions and lift the trophy at Wembley, I have achieved more than I could have imagined.

“I feel very fortunate to be have been offered the U18 coaching role which allows me to take the next step in my career and work with the next generation of players from Charlton’s prestigious academy.”