Tore Andre Flo officially left Chelsea at the end of the calendar year — after 13 years fulfilling various backroom, developmental, and ambassadorial roles! — to begin his new job as manager at Sogndal Fotball in the Norwegian first division, and among his first orders ——of business has been to bring in a friendly face.
Academy coach James Simmonds has re-joined his former colleague, though it’s expected to be only a six-month stint, until the end of the season in England. (Norway’s seasons run spring-to-fall.) Simmonds had spent the first half of the season on (a similar coaching) loan at AFC Wimbledon; now he has another temporary assignment to fulfill and learn from.
Having spent the first half of the season on Wimbledon's coaching Staff, #CFC academy coach James Simmonds is heading to Norway to join Tore Andre Flo's backroom team at Sogndal for the rest of the (English) season. pic.twitter.com/0PeD5dyrds— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) January 10, 2022
Flo has apparently set some ambitious goals for himself in his first ever head coaching role, and will be looking to improve upon Sogndal’s sixth place finish from last season. Evidently he has our full support in more than just words.
“It’s a big opportunity for Tore. He always had in his mind the coaching aspect. It’s an opportunity for him to work for the club he played for, it’s not easy to let him go because I know what he can give but I understand this is his next opportunity in life and he must take it. We are all behind him.”
-Carlo Cudicini, Loan Technical Coach; source: Chelsea FC
Good luck, TAF (and Simmonds)!