Having announced his retirement, Chelsea confirmed in December that Blues 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 in November 2018 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 who played for Chelsea between 2003 and 2010, during which he won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup twice and the League Cup, has started his job in the academy and he has revealed just how much he could add to the academy and impact on the youngsters.
“I’m very pleased, it’s exciting,” Cole told the official Chelsea website.
“So much of the world now is very individual and football clubs give people the chance to be part of something. I’ve been part of that for a long time, in different capacities, so it’s exciting to be part of something again and I want to help the club get back to the top of world football.”
Over the next six months the 37-year-old will work with a selection of age groups, including the Under-18s and development squad, and speaking on his role, he said: “Obviously the knowledge and experience, 20 years of wisdom as a player, so there’s that.
“I think having had the career I’ve had helps the young players identify with you because you’ve trodden the road they want to go down, so they easily engage with you.
“They want to learn and that’s my advantage, but I’ll have to make sure I’m very clever with what I say to them to get the message across. Just because they will listen to me, I need to make sure the message is clear about what’s required to become a Chelsea player.
“You want to be with quality people. The people we have here are quality. I feel I can add to that and we can develop these lads.”
For the first six weeks, Cole will be assisting U18 manager Jon Harley, and he said: “For the first six weeks I’ll be assisting Jon Harley with the Under-18s because Andy Myers has hurt himself, so I’ll be assistant coach.
“But it’s a bit more free-flowing. I’ve already taken part of a session, which was my own, a variant of what I saw. So there will be that, and then I might take the team for a few days myself, or maybe a week. I’ll do a team talk, a bit of scouting, recruitment and helping out, so the role encompasses everything. It gives me an opportunity to see the club from all different angles.
“I was player-coach at Tampa Bay Rowdies for six months and I’ve done my badges, so I’ve coached at various academies, but the session I put on seemed to go well and the lads enjoyed it.”