Former Democratic Republic of Congo captain Gaby Zakuani has been appointed assistant manager of the national under-20 side.
Zakuani won 29 international caps and played in three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
The 37-year-old former centre-back told the BBC: "I'm looking forward to playing a role in shaping the future of our beautiful country.
"The appointment's not a total surprise as I had been working with the national team. When the new manager (Sebastien Desabre) came in last year, he contacted me and he has come to England a few times to get my perspective on how the country can move forward.
"I've had meetings with players of Congo origin, who are currently not in the squad. I've met their parents so I've been involved in the background."
Zakuani once cost Fulham £1m when they signed him from Leyton Orient, where he had enjoyed promotion, and was then part of the Stoke City team managed by Tony Pulis that won a place in the English Premier League.
He went on to become a major part of Peterborough United's recent history, enjoying two promotions, as they went back and forth to the English Championship.
He still covers the club in his role as a co-commentator with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, having also worked for BBC Sport Africa during the last World Cup in Qatar.
"It (this new coaching role) fits in quite nicely," he said.
"There's not too much pressure on either role. Since retiring as a player, I've acted and I've done media work but I love the coaching and the media work. This new job isn't all-year round so the role really suits me."
Zakuani made 253 appearances for Peterborough over two spells and scored nine goals. A move to Gillingham followed a spell with Northampton Town. He captained all three clubs and has a clear vision going into his new role.
"The aim is to get in the World Cup. We've seen how well the African teams did in the last World Cup and everyone wants a taste of it," he said.
"I'm there to aid the manager with training sessions. I'm someone (for him) to listen to and spot things. I've been a captain of my country and I can give good feedback to the young players."
Zakuani's management experience is limited to a brief spell with non-league club Spalding United and he can't wait to get going once more after being given this latest opportunity.
"Coaching provides a greater feeling than playing," he said.
"With playing, you are in control of your destiny. I had a short spell at Spalding and it's not easy when players can't do what you would like them to.
"I am very proud, I hope this works out to be a prouder moment for me (than playing).
"It's as good as it can be for DR Congo. When I first went to a training session, when I was first called up (by my country) in 2003, everyone had their different club shorts on.
"Now we have official sponsors, just like the European teams. There is a long way to go but the progress is there to see."