Derby reap rewards as Rooney signs on as player/coach

Derby reap rewards as Rooney signs on as player/coach

LONDON: Former England captain Wayne Rooney is to leave Washington-based DC United after agreeing a deal to become player-coach of Championship side Derby County, the clubs announced on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old — the record goalscorer for both his country and Manchester United — signed an initial 18 month contract with the ambitious second tier side, who under Rooney’s former England team-mate Frank Lampard reached the play-off final last season.

The high-profile signing has already paid off for the club. “On the back of Wayne joining the club, we have just been offered a record-breaking sponsorship deal with our principal shirt sponsor,” said owner Mel Morris.

Derby, two-time English champions back in the 1970s, have been rewarded for being quick off the mark when rumours surfaced that Colleen, Rooney’s wife and mother of their three children, was unhappy in the United States and wanted to return home.

Rooney will work under former PSV Eindhoven boss Phillip Cocu. “I am very excited about the opportunity that Derby County have provided me with,” Rooney told the club website.

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