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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Former England midfielder Joe Cole becomes assistant coach at Tampa Bay Rowdies

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Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Joe Cole has taken on additional duties as an assistant coach for the team, though his main role will still be as a player for the American second-tier team, the club announced Friday.

The former Chelsea and Liverpool player moved to the Rowdies in 2016 after a short stint with Coventry, winning three Premier League titles and earning 56 caps for England in a glittering playing career.

Cole is in the process of earning his UEFA A coaching licence and will assume his new responsibilities immediately.

"I'm very excited to start this chapter of my career with the Rowdies," Cole said. "I have a lot of experience to pass on to the players and I want to play a role in elevating this club to new heights. My primary role is still to play on the field, but I'm very excited to step into coaching as well."

Rowdies head coach Neill Collins said he will continue to be an important part of the Rowdies playing and now coaching staff.

"Joe has an incredible store of knowledge about the game to share with our young players and with our coaching staff," he said. "One of the main provisos of me taking the head coaching job a few weeks ago was that I wanted to open an avenue for Joe to share that knowledge as an assistant coach.

"Though he is now a member of the coaching staff as well, Joe's primary role will remain as a player for the Rowdies." 

Chairman & CEO Bill Edwards believes the appointment will make a big difference to the club.

"When we brought Joe to the Rowdies in 2016, we knew that his experience and knowledge of the game would help the club grow exponentially," he said. "When Neill was appointed head coach, he mentioned how important Joe is for the team both on and off the pitch. Having Joe assist in coaching will benefit everyone in the organization."

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