Ashley Cole has been appointed as England Under-21 assistant coach, a role he will combine with his ongoing work for the Chelsea Academy.

Cole will be working alongside new head coach and former Everton midfielder Lee Carsley, who replaces Aidy Boothroyd. Carsley steps up from his position in charge of the England Under-20 side.

Cole, a Chelsea and England legend during his playing days, has been coaching our Under-15 side since starting work in our Academy in 2019. He recently took part in the launch of England Football Learning’s International Player to Coach (IP2C) programme, which works with former and current international players as they transition into coaching and management.

‘I am really happy to get this opportunity to support Lee and work with the best youngsters in the country,’ said Cole of his new role, which he will split with his Chelsea duties.

‘I loved playing for the national team and to now get the chance to work as an England coach is a special feeling. St. George’s Park is an amazing place and I can’t wait to get started.

‘I want to do my best to help young players to develop, and also learn from some brilliant people at the same time.’

Carsley hailed Cole as ‘a brilliant addition to the staff’ and went on to praise his progress as a coach in the past couple of years.

‘I have been on courses with Ashley during lockdown and been impressed,’ said the former Ireland international.

‘He is interested in coaching, in player development and a lot of our thoughts are aligned.’

England’s Under-21 side were knocked out of this year’s European Championship in the group stage. Their qualification campaign for the next tournament, held in Romania and Georgia in 2023, begins in the September international break.