Former England captain John Terry has left his job as assistant head coach of Aston Villa as he looks to further his plans to earn himself the top job in management in the future.
Terry, who won every major honor in English and European football as a player with Chelsea, has been an assistant manager at Villa for the past three seasons. Throughout that time the 40 year old has been in the mix for several jobs, including talks with Championship clubs Bournemouth and Bristol City, and last week earned the UEFA Pro Licence that will allow him to manage at the highest levels.
After spending his final playing season with Villa, Terry joined Dean Smith in the dugout for the 2018-19 season, one which ended in the Midlands' side securing promotion to the Premier League. Terry has been a key figure in the club's establishment in midtable this season and is known to be well regarded for the defensive work he carries out on the training ground.
Terry acknowledged that leaving the club was an "extremely difficult decision" but indicated that he could not say with confidence that he would be able to see out the 2021-22 season alongside Smith.
"I want to be as respectful to the manager and everyone at Aston Villa as I can and, having given my future serious consideration over the summer, I genuinely don't feel it is fair to move into a new season without being certain of seeing that through," Terry said. "My immediate plan is to spend some quality time with my family and, thereafter, hopefully take up some invitations to visit clubs and managers around Europe to develop my aim and objective of becoming a manager.
"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."
Smith is not short on additional coaches in his staff having brought former Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare to Villa Park in 2020 as another assistant alongside Terry and Richard O'Kelly.
"I'm disappointed to lose John as part of my coaching staff but fully understand and respect his decision," said Smith. "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."