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Captain, Leader, Legend: ‘Playing against Chelsea just doesn't sit right with me’

Aston Villa Press Conference Photo by Barrington Coombs/Getty Images

John Terry began a brand new chapter in his career yesterday, signing with Aston Villa on a free transfer and making a strong commitment to help restore the team to Premier League status.

“It wasn't a financial decision, if that was the case I certainly wouldn't be here. I could have played in the Premier League - I had offers from other Premier League clubs, with a lot more money - or on other continents.”

“I'm here because the hunger and the ambition is the exact same as mine, and that's to win this league and get back to the Premier League.”

-John Terry; source: talkSport

JT signed a one-year deal with Steve Bruce’s side, a decision motivated by a couple major factors, including Brucey’s offer of helping Terry continue his studies towards his coaching badges.

"Money wasn't the issue, I have to be fair to John. We talked about coaching and how we can help him do his badges. It was all to do with football, money was never really mentioned."

-Steve Bruce; source: Sky

The other major factor, and one that Terry had talked about repeatedly leading up to his decision to leave Chelsea but continue his playing career, was to not play in the Premier League. It’s a promise he made to Chelsea fans and it’s a promise he has now kept.

“Playing against Chelsea just doesn't sit right with me, to be honest. Whether that's different in a year's time, I don't know. The raw emotion of leaving the club after so long there just didn't sit right with me.”

-John Terry; source: talkSport

"I was 22 years at the football club, 22 unbelievable years, I'm very proud of that but this is a new chapter in my life, my career. I wish Chelsea well next season and will be watching out but my thoughts are 100 per cent here."

-John Terry; source: Sky

Loyalties are often malleable in football; it would’ve been understandable if JT joined, say, West Brom instead, but his choice to drop down a division makes this a much happier story and ending.

Of course, it may not actually be the end of John Terry’s association with Chelsea, in multiple respects. If things go to plan, Villa will be promoted at the end of the season, after all.

"If that's the ideal situation and in one year's time we're sitting here with Aston Villa back in the Premier League then I've done my job and everyone else has done theirs. We can cross that bridge hopefully when we come to it."

The bridge that JT really wants to cross is the bridge to management, and he’s also hoping that his time at Villa will help him in that regard. The route for ex-players into management isn’t straightforward or easy, and JT knows that it will take lots of hard work and good results, especially if he’s to fulfill his dreams of becoming Chelsea manager one day.

“That's a goal. Me and Lamps have had those conversations.”

“Do you dream too big? I don't think you can ever dream too big. I've always wanted to be the very best and if that's in management then Chelsea's the one.”

“That would be incredible but I realise as well you can't go in somewhere like Chelsea as your first job. You need to go and learn, whether that's in the academy like Stevie [Gerrard] is doing.”

"It's difficult to get jobs. I see a lot of players from my generation not walking into jobs that maybe I thought they would get. So I think you need to go out and do your work and put your minutes in on the pitch and make your mistakes that no one sees so that when you do go in, you're kind of ready."

-John Terry; source: Sky

We wouldn’t bet against JT being ready for the Chelsea job one day.

Until then, we wish him all the best at Villa and their bid for promotion.