One of Chelsea’s best players in club history is back at his old stomping grounds in a new role.
Chelsea finally confirmed over their social media channels that former left back Ashley Cole is back at the club coaching in the academy, helping the next generation of stars grow and learn the games. Specifically, Cole is coaching the U-15 squad.
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“I’m also doing my badges at the moment and so being here at Chelsea means I have the chance to coach every day, whereas maybe if I wasn’t working at a club it would be hard for me to get the hours in,” Cole told Chelsea’s website. “I’m learning not just how to be a coach and how to speak to people in a different environment but the side of coaching that you don’t see like planning the sessions and setting up the equipment.
“As a player, you just turn up for a session and do it. If it’s a possession drill, you just arrive and try to keep the ball but now I’m getting to understand that there are always ideas behind a particular session or practice. Organization has to be key and those are the little details that it takes to be a great coach.”
While plenty from Cole’s era have moved into the media for lucrative punditry roles, it’s nice to see players like Cole and his former teammate Frank Lampard, now Chelsea coach, go into coaching to help pass on some of the great lessons they’ve learned during their careers. .
Cole said in the interview that he wasn’t sure what was next after playing three seasons for the LA Galaxy and then joining Lampard at Derby County for the second half of last season. He added that he got his first taste of coaching kids while with the Galaxy, helping some of the academy players and taking part in video sessions.
“The Academy are very good at giving ex-players a route back to the club and a chance to learn as coaches,” Cole said. “They’re eager to bring in people who understand what it means to be at Chelsea and what it means to wear the badge. You have to be a top player to play for Chelsea so they want those top ex-players influencing and trying to help the next generation develop and be better players.”
Ashley Cole has called time on his 20-year playing career.
The former Arsenal, Chelsea, Roma, LA Galaxy and Derby County left back will go down as one of the best full backs in the game, with the England international winning three Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League, Europa League, League Cup and seven FA Cups during his glittering career.
Cole, 38, most recently joined Derby on a short-term contract last season after spending three seasons playing for the Galaxy in Major League Soccer, and revealed he is now looking forward to move into coaching.
“After hard consideration, it’s time to hang my boots up and look towards my next chapter, which will hopefully be coaching,” Cole said. “As a young kid, I never expected to play one game or be a professional. Looking back, to be able to say I played in World Cups, Champions League finals, being lucky enough to lift Premier League titles – it’s a young kid’s dream. I fulfilled my dream and now I look to the future, hopefully as a great coach.”
Cole’s decision to leave Arsenal for Chelsea in 2006 was a huge talking point for many years, as the Arsenal academy product upset the majority of their fanbase as he joined the Roman Abramovich-led revolution across London.
He made 107 appearances for England and is considered the Three Lions’ best-ever left back, as he played at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups as well as EURO 2004 and 2012.
Despite a late scare, dominant Brighton and Hove Albion put an end to Frank Lampard‘s run in the FA Cup with a 2-1 defeat of Derby County at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
Anthony Knockaert and Jurgen Locadia scored in the final dozen minutes of the first half for the Seagulls, who will learn their quarterfinal foe on Monday.
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Substitute Ashley Cole scored in the 80th minute for the Rams, who were heavily outshot in the match.
It was Cole’s first goal in England since 2012, when he bagged a Premier League marker for Chelsea against Stoke City.
Locadia was injured just before the Seagulls conceded, and looked to be in considerable pain with an ankle injury.
American attacker Duane Holmes started up top for Derby but was subbed after 45 minutes. The 24-year-old Columbus-born man has become a regular starter under Lampard.
Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole won eight major trophies together as players, now they’re teaming up once more — only this time, left back Cole will be playing for manager Lampard.
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Derby County announced on Monday that the 38-year-old Cole has signed a six-month contract to aid the Championship side’s push for Premier League promotion. The Rams currently sit sixth in England’s second division, holding onto the fourth and final playoff place by a slim two-point margin.
Cole has been without a club since the 2018 MLS season ended and LA Galaxy declined his option for 2019.
Lampard, predictably, is quite pleased he’ll be working with his former teammate and longtime friend in an all new capacity:
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure Ashley’s services for the rest of the season.
“He’s a fantastic player, a quality left back, and he also brings great experience to the dressing room.
“Ashley is in good shape, which doesn’t surprise me because he’s an excellent professional, and he will compete for a place in the side like every other player here.
“I’ve made my feelings known over the last couple of days just how highly I think of Ashley and I have no doubt whatsoever he will be a positive addition to our squad.”
Ashley Cole probably thought that when he joined the LA Galaxy in 2016, it would be the last club he played for before, literally, relaxing on a beach in retirement.
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Considering he was 36 at the time — he is now 38 — it seemed obvious that England’s 107-times-capped left back would play out a final few years in MLS before calling full-time on his decorated career. Three years later, Cole might still do just that.
He might also resume playing after receiving a six-month contract offer from Championship side and promotion chasers Derby County, who are now coached by one of Cole’s longtime teammates and friends at Chelsea and England, Frank Lampard.
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Cole has been without a club since his option was declined by the Galaxy following the end of the 2018 season.
According to the Guardian, the chance to play alongside a largely young, but promising, squad of players and to help Lampard guide the club to the Premier League in his first season as manager is very appealing to Cole.