John Terry has quit as Assistant Head Coach of Aston Villa after three years in the role, following his retirement from professional football in October 2018.
Terry initially joined Villa as a player in summer 2017 and went on to make 32 appearances across all competitions in 2017-18 season, having been released by Chelsea at end of 2016-17 campaign after playing for the Blues for 19 years.
Villa however failed to win promotion from the Sky Bet Championship that season with Terry opting to retire in October 2018, in order to take up a role as Assistant Head Coach to Dean Smith who had replaced Steve Bruce that same month.
Under his role, Terry helped Villa climb back up to the top-flight after winning the 2018-19 Championship Play-Offs, before consolidating the club’s Premier League status last season following a dramatic last day survival at end of 2019-20 campaign.
Speaking on his decision to depart Villa Park, Terry described the role as “a tremendous honour and privilege” yet feels that “now is the right time to make the extremely difficult decision to move on.”
The 40 year-old also spoke about his decision to depart as being “respectful” to Smith and everyone else at Villa, having spent the summer giving his future some “serious consideration”, only to conclude that it would be unfair to continue into the new season without seeing the campaign through.
On his immediate future plans, Terry revealed that he will “spend some quality time” with his family before looking to take up invitations to visit various European clubs in order “to develop my aim and objective of becoming a manager.”
Explaining his long-term target, Terry commented: “It has always been my ambition to move into football management and, providing the right opportunity presents itself, I feel ready to take up such a challenge.
Terry also paid tribute to Smith for his contribution in providing him with a chance to start his coaching career at Villa Park, having “loved every minute of it and learnt so much.”
Expressing his gratitude to Smith, Terry said: “I can’t thank Dean enough for the support and guidance he has provided me with and I’m sure he will continue to lead the club from strength to strength.
Smith in turn revealed that he was “disappointed” to see Terry depart but admitted that he does “fully understand and respect his decision.”
Describing Terry’s impact on the club’s recent upturn in fortunes which saw the Villains finish 11th last season, Smith said: “John has played a huge role in the success the club has enjoyed over the last few years and has been very supportive of myself throughout that period.
“I have no doubts he will go on to be a first-class manager in his own right and wish him well for the future.”