Chelsea legend Ashley Cole has said that he hopes to use his move to Derby County as a way to pave a way for himself in the world of football coaching. The 38-year-old joined the Championship club last month after having recently left Major League Soccer outfit LA Galaxy. He has joined on a deal until the end of the season.
In the process, he also reunited with his former England and Blues teammate Frank Lampard, who is managing the Rams. Despite now being in his late 30s, Cole proved that he could still offer Derby a lot as he scored a goal for them during their 2-1 FA Cup defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
The goal was Cole’s first in English football since 2012. After leaving Stamford Bridge in 2014, he went on to have stints with Italian giants AS Roma and then Galaxy.
Derby are currently in seventh position in the Championship standings after 31 games with 51 points. They are unlikely to be able to challenge for an automatic promotion position at this point, however, they could still win promotion to the top-flight via the promotion playoffs.
If they are to achieve that, the experience and knowledge of Cole could prove to be vital between now and the end of the season.
He said to the Mirror: “As an aspiring coach, I feel like I can help these young guys progress. I have the miles in my legs and in my brain to help these kids. I’m not the youngest any more, but it makes you remember how much you love this game, and it takes you back to the early days.
“You see the young kids and they run so much. They enjoy it, they stay out after training and work on their weaknesses, and it is what they need to do. I’m here to help, if need be to speak to them and to drill into them the understanding of what it means to put on a club shirt.
“They need to work hard and never let a day go by without learning something and always trying to improve.
“It is different playing in the youth teams to when you get into the first team. You get to understand what is means to fight every week – not just for the fans but a bigger cause. That’s the mentality I have, and have had, throughout my career – I’m a fighter and that won’t change.”