by Linda Ikeji
Former Chelsea midfielder, Michael Essien has joined Danish club Nordsjaelland as a player-coach for the 2020-21 season.
The 37-year-old Ghanaian footballer agreed to assist head coach Flemming Pedersen for the coming campaign.
According to the club, Essien will join the staff in an assistant role and participate in training sessions alongside the players to help implement the drills and ideas. In addition, the former Lyon and Real Madrid player will contribute to video analysis and ‘group evaluations’ following each training session.
Essien, who will start his duties on Thursday, took to social media to share his delight as he prepares to achieve his coaching qualifications at the club.
‘I am delighted to have joined FC Nordsjaelland coaching staff as part of my development towards my full coaching licence,’ he said.
‘I will also be assisting the players on and off the pitch as part of my role.’
The club’s sports director Jan Laursen also shared his excitement about Essien’s appointment, saying: ‘Michael left a very positive impression here during his visit and we continued the dialogue with him after he had left.
‘We felt, he was excited by what he experienced here through our philosophy, the people he met at the club, and that our environment inspired him.
‘At the same time, Michael’s visit gave us a clear impression of how much a coaching staff member on the pitch, as an active part of the training with the players, can contribute and add.
‘That part we are really looking forward to further developing, and we are very happy that it can happen through and with such a football- and human capacity as Michael Essien is.’
Head coach Pedersen said:’In the coaching staff we’ve experienced Michael Essien as both curious and hungry for knowledge before and after the training sessions, but at the same time also contributing and giving among the players during the training’, he said.
‘His career and experience speak for themselves, but when you add his humble and giving personality, this is an exceptional opportunity for us to get a person added to the staff who can help make our environment even more developing for our players and also add valuable input to the coaching team and be our hand on the training pitch. We are very much looking forward to welcoming Michael to FCN.’
Micheal Essien who joined Chelsea from Lyon in 2005 in a £24.4million deal, spent nine successful years at Stamford Bridge, winning the Champions League, two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and a League Cup before leaving in 2014