Chelsea have announced Chelsea legend Joe Cole will return to the club as a technical academy coach in 2019.
The 37-year-old announced his retirement from playing football last month and will work across various age groups over the next six months, including our U18s and development squad, while continuing to study for his coaching qualifications.
Cole is the latest Chelsea legend to make the step into coaching following the likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli.
Cole played for Chelsea between 2003 and 2010, during which he won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup twice and the League Cup.
“Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game and I feel I can offer a lot as a coach,” Cole told Chelsea’s official website. “To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.”
Neil Bath, Chelsea’s head of youth development, said: “We are delighted Joe has agreed to return to Chelsea and coach in the Academy. It has always been our philosophy to have a number of ex-players involved in our coaching structure so they can pass on their unique experiences and what it means to play for Chelsea.
“Joe will work across a number of age groups and with various staff to ensure he gets to experience the full range of our programme. I’m sure sharing his experiences and football knowledge, combined with his obvious passion for the game, will help enormously with the development of our young players.”
Cole has made no secret of his desire to get into coaching.
After retiring from playing football in November, he said: “Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game.
“I feel I can offer a lot as a coach and have really enjoyed the opportunity to undertake some of these duties with the (Tampa Bay) Rowdies.
“To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.
“Whatever is next, I hope the next two decades are as special as my last 20 years as a professional have been.”
Cole also revealed in November that winning trophies during his time at Chelsea was special for him.
“Winning trophies at Chelsea was particularly special for me,” Cole said.
“Those memories will live with me forever, as will the chance I had to share them with my family. My wife, Carly, and our three amazing children, my Dad, George, my Mum, Susan, are what I’m most proud of.”