The Chelsea coaching ranks are chock full of former first-team and youth players — from the board room to the first-team to the Loan Army to the youth system — and for the past year or so, Joe Cole had been one of them. The former boy wonder returned to Chelsea last season after announcing his retirement, and for the past year and change had been working as a technical coach in the Academy.
But in a recent interview, he’s confirmed that his one-year assignment had ended and he’s now looking to expand his (coaching) horizons beyond that limited role.
“Just before lockdown I stepped down from my role at Chelsea. I had a great time there and learned so much. It was really important in my development but I was planning on doing study visits around the world with different managers and study visits within the FA. That all got put to bed because of covid but I’ll pick that up when I can and it’s back to normal.
“I loved it there. I’m sure one day I’ll return in some capacity but at the moment, for my development as a coach, I felt going round and going to look and listen and keep my ears and eyes open was the best thing for me. I don’t want to say any clubs because I don’t know if certain managers will be in charge when I ask to go back again. But I was working with the FA and I was looking to get with the younger age groups within the FA and see how that works.”
Chelsea’s Academy has become famous in the past decade and a half not only for producing top talent — recently for Chelsea, too, even! — but also top coaches, and not just for Chelsea.
“The way we looked after these lads in the academy was unbelievable. It blew my mind. It really opened my eyes up to the evolution of football and all the different ways of playing – but the different ways of teaching as well because a lot of coaching is actually teaching.
“You use the fundamentals and techniques that all the great teachers do. I learned so much from the people in the academy building over there. It’s no accident Chelsea are producing a stream of great players and there’s more to come underneath it.”
-Joe Cole; source: Guardian
Joey will certainly take all that he’s learned in the twelve months at Cobham and put it to good use in the future, just as he did when he arrived at Chelsea as a player and turned into one of the most exciting players in all the land. Injuries and a bit of Mourinho derailed those promises and ambitions, but this is hardly the last we’ve heard of Joey C as a coach, I’m sure.
Maybe, even, at Chelsea one day, again. Until then, good luck, Joe!