Ashley Cole has returned to Chelsea, joining former teammate Frank Lampard's staff to coach the club's Under-15s.
The former Blues' left back announced his retirement in August and revealed he had ambitions to move into coaching. After bringing an illustrious career to an end, he will start the next chapter at the club where he enjoyed his most successful playing days.
After playing under Lampard at Derby County last season, the rumours of Cole joining Chelsea's backroom staff started up as soon as his retirement was announced. The club have confirmed his return via their official website, revealing that he's been working with the academy players for two months as he obtains his coaching badges.
Cole spent eight years at Stamford Bridge, winning England's domestic trio of trophies and both the Europa League and Champions League to become a modern club legend. The 38-year-old feels this is a strength that will allow him to thrive in his coaching capacity.
He stated: "The Academy are very good at giving ex-players a route back to the club and a chance to learn as coaches.
"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."
Their transfer ban has meant that they've had to put their faith in youth and so far it seems to working, opening the door to player progression and a footballing philosophy that could progress through the age groups.
Cole already has a clear idea of how to develop the Under-15s, adding: "We’ll let them play, develop and solve problems themselves but we want to improve their tactical understanding as well so that in a year or two, they’ll be ahead of young players at other academies because they have that in their brains already."