Former Chelsea and Ghana midfielder, Michael Essien has joined the coaching staff at Danish side FC Nordsjaelland for the 2020/2021 season.
The 37-year old recently spent some time at the club, that is owned Ghana’s Right to Dream Academy, as he pursues his coaching badges. Essien has now agreed to become what the club is calling player-coach, under the guidance of head coach Flemming Pedersen.
I am delighted to have joined FC Nordsjaelland coaching staff as part of my development towards my full coaching licence,” he posted on social media.
“I will also be assisting the players on and off the pitch as part of my role.”
A club statement said that: “He will join the staff in an assistant role and participate in the trainings alongside the players to help implement the drills and ideas in the best possible way.
“As well as contribute with new input to coaching group evaluations of the training session afterwards.”
Essien has also spent time at Chelsea gaining experience and knowledge in his pursuit to be a qualified coach.
The former Lyon and Real Madrid player will start his role on Thursday and has been welcomed by the club’s sports director Jan Laursen.
“Michael left a very positive impression here during his visit and we continued the dialogue with him after he had left,” Laursen said.
“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 is also looking forward to working with Essien.
“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 trainings. 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.