Chelsea legend Joe Cole will return to the club in 2019 as a technical academy coach.
The 37-year-old will work across various age groups over the next six months, including our Under-18s and development squad, while continuing to study for his coaching qualifications.
A star player for the Blues between 2003 and 2010, during which time he won the Premier League on three occasions, the FA Cup twice and the League Cup, Cole announced his retirement from playing in November, indicating a desire to move into coaching.
He said: ‘Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game and I feel I can offer a lot as a coach. To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.’
Chelsea head of youth development Neil Bath said: ‘We are delighted Joe has agreed to return to Chelsea and coach in the Academy. It has always been our philosophy to have a number of ex-players involved in our coaching structure so they can pass on their unique experiences and what it means to play for Chelsea.
‘Joe will work across a number of age groups and with various staff to ensure he gets to experience the full range of our programme. I’m sure sharing his experiences and football knowledge, combined with his obvious passion for the game, will help enormously with the development of our young players.’