Peter Retires

The man who set Joe Cole on his way to a professional career is retiring this summer.

Peter Brabrook, who has successfully been coaching the U17s as players such as Joe came through the ranks first worked with him when Joe was just 12.

Despite preparing for the World Cup on the other side of the world, Joe is aware that Peter - who will be 65 in November - will not be at Chadwell Heath next season.

"Joe's dad told Joe when he spoke to him on the phone that I had to retire and he is disappointed to a point," says Peter.

Explaining his reasons, he says:

"Obviously my age was the consideration because they wanted a younger person in, which is understandable. "I am not disputing that - they are going to bring a younger person in.

"I hope I keep contact and will hopefully come to the games if I can still get a ticket, but it is easier said than done getting tickets sometimes."

Looking at his final season, he says:

"The idea is to push players on, but we did all right, especially as I lost half my side through the season because five or six players went regular with the 19s.

"That is progress, and it meant I had schoolboys in my side which was also progress; we finished third and got to the quarter finals of the playoffs, so it wasn't a bad season again for us."

And of his time overall, he says:

"My record has been quite good since I have been there; I won the league four times, finished second once and third once and in my first year I won the last year of the SE Counties.

"I think I have done quite well with the 17s and I hope that the club think so; I was there eight years as a player then five years part time and then six years full time with the academy and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

"I hope fans appreciate what I have done because you are running the side and doing the coaching and they think what a lovely life.

"I'm not saying it isn't because it is wonderful but you have to make sure you produce a team and players - and win games.

"The biggest thing is to get players through to the first team and in the six years I have been there it will never ever happen again that you will produce a Michael Carrick, A Rio Ferdinand, a Joe Cole, a Frank Lampard, a Jermain Defoe and even a Richard Garcia.

"You take that amount of players out of six years and it isn't bad back pay!"

Despite his own sadness at retiring, Peter is more concerned for Trevor Sinclair who missed out on the World Cup squad at the final hurdle.

"It must be a bitter disappointment for him not to be part and parcel of the World Cup squad," he says.

Peter watched Trevor, Joe, and David James all play in an England shirt on Tuesday and adds:

"It is a long time since it happened with the Moore Peters Hurst combination, and it was wonderful to have three players in the game.

"I thought they all did quite well; obviously it got changed at half time and all our lads came on in the second half but it is never the same when you make seven changes because it is difficult to keep going and play the same way.

"But I thought all the players did okay and it must have been difficult in the heat and humidity out there." As for Peter now, he says:

"I will be looking at the young lads' progress as well which I'm sure will come, and hopefully there will be more players on the horizon at West Ham."

Whoever fills Peter's boots will have quite a task on their hands, and Peter says:

"Glenn said they haven't got anybody yet for the job; he stressed it is a very important one and said it will be difficult to follow my footsteps."

Of that, there can be no doubt.