Chelsea legend Ashley Cole has officially transitioned into a coaching role, with the 40-year-old joining Lee Carley’s England U21 backroom staff.
Lee Carsley was offered the U21 job earlier this month, and his arrival, along with that of Cole, is now confirmed by the FA. They will be under pressure right from the beginning since the youngsters have a European Championship qualifier against Romania in September and will have to work hard to prepare the team for the fixtures.
Cole has been pursuing his UEFA Pro License while working with Chelsea’s academy over the last 18 months. He intends to follow his former teammates, John Terry and Frank Lampard into coaching. And now, he has taken the first step to get there. Cole will be working with Carsley on a part-time basis, and will continue to take charge of the Chelsea U15s whilst a part of the England backroom staff.
“I am really happy to get this opportunity to support Lee and work with the best youngsters in the country. I loved playing for the national team and to now get the chance to work as an England coach is a special feeling,” Cole said.
“St George’s Park is an amazing place and I can’t wait to get started. I want to do my best to help young players to develop, and also learn from some brilliant people at the same time.”
The FA continue to work on their BAME scheme, which gives former England players the chance to work with the setup of the national team. Carsley is the replacement for Aidy Boothroyd, since the FA did not renew his contract after England were dismissed from the group stages of the Euros for a second successive campaign.