Wayne Rooney made his coaching debut on Saturday for EFL Championship side Derby County, being on the bench at Pride Park.
Rooney joined head coach Philip Cocu and the rest of the Derby coaching staff for their showdown with Queens Park Rangers. After making his move from MLS’ D.C. United, Rooney will have to wait until the January Transfer Window to begin playing for the club.
Martyn Waghorn’s free-kick put the Rams in front at home, but QPR would equalize through a second-half penalty kick. American players Duane Holmes and Geoff Cameron both started and went the distance for their respective teams.
The 34-year-old Rooney signed an 18-month contract with Derby as a player/coach and joined following D.C. United’s exit from the MLS Cup Playoffs. He will now look to help the club return to the Premier League for the first time since 2007-08′.
“For the moment, because he’s not allowed to play, he’s involved to see how we prepare and get to know the players he will play with in January,” Cocu said post match. “And I think he will also be an important link-up for us as a coaching staff with how we want to play against different systems, so if he knows what we want he can use it on the pitch and talk to other players and adjust when it’s needed.”
After this weekend’s draw, Derby sit 14th in the 24-team Championship table with 25 points from 19 matches played. Rooney’s earliest debut could be on Jan. 2nd when the Rams face Barnsley at the end of the busy festive period.