Ashley Cole is aiming to help develop a new generation of international stars after being named as the new assistant manager of England under-21s.
Cole, regarded as the best left-back the world throughout his stellar Three Lions career, will work under Lee Carsley who was today confirmed as the new Head Coach of the side.
Carsley replaces Aidy Boothroyd who was axed on the back of two dismal European Championship campaigns and has been tasked with helping bring through the next crop of talent to Gareth Southgate’s senior side.
And in handing ex-Chelsea star Cole his first international coaching role, the FA hope the emerging potential coming through the age-group categories will get the ideal development needed to make the final step up to top level international football.
Cole, 40, said: “I’m really happy to get this opportunity to support Lee and work with the best youngsters in the country.
“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.”
Cole will continue working with the academy at Chelsea in his dual role, with ex-Republic of Ireland midfielder Carsley taking the lead.
Carsley has impressed with his work with the Manchester City academy, playing a pivotal role in helping to develop the likes of Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho.
He said: “We have a great opportunity to help the senior side by developing the best young talent in this country while combining that with the aim of being successful at U21 level.
“We want to win matches. I don’t think you can have one without the other, these lads want to compete at the highest level and test themselves against the best.
“We have to acknowledge the work being done by the academies and I know how important it will be to have good relationships with the clubs.