The former Black Stars midfielder talks about his attachment to The Wild Tigers
Former Ghana and Chelsea star Michael Essien has stated his ongoing coaching stint with Danish side Nordsjaelland represents a major step in his career development.
The 38-year-old joined The Wild Tigers’ coaching staff last September after a player-coach spell with Azerbaijani side Sabail.
His stint with Nordsjaelland lasted for the entire duration of the 2020-21 season.
“This transition in my career, learning about the coaching aspect of the game is important to me and Right to Dream and FC Nordsjalland has offered me this huge opportunity,” Essien said, as reported by Citi Sports.
“Not many people get the opportunity to come here and learn and see how they do things here. And you know I’ve been speaking to Tom [Vernon] for many years and he asked me to come and I did.
“Since I came, the staff and players; everyone is willing to help and it’s lovely. How could I turn this opportunity down?”
Before joining Nordsjaelland in September, Essien first linked up with the club on a brief visit.
“Michael left a very positive impression here during his visit and we continued the dialogue with him after he had left,” Nordsjaelland Sports director Jan Laursen said upon the Ghanaian’s contract announcement for the 2020-21 season.
“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 and with such a football and human capacity, as Michael Essien is.”
Essien entered the coaching terrain after an illustrious playing career, winning the 2012 Champions League and two Premier League titles with Chelsea.
He also featured for Real Madrid, AC Milan, French sides Olympique Marseille and Bastia, Panathinaikos in Greece and Indonesian outfit Persib Bandung.
At international level, Essien represented Ghana at two World Cup tournaments – 2006 and 2014 – and at two Africa Cup of Nations events – 2008 and 2010. – Goal.com