Andy Cole is one of several former players in the Manchester United party on Tour 2013 presented by Aon. The Treble-winning striker and current club ambassador has been busy in Bangkok and Sydney, attending various commercial and partner events on behalf of the club. Here he tells ManUtd.com why he's enjoying the role...
It’s a great honour to be an ambassador for Manchester United. When I played for the club, I didn’t realise just how much work went on behind the scenes – I probably didn’t give the commercial team the credit they deserve. But I appreciate it a lot more now I’m on the other side of the fence.
When I first took the role, I didn’t quite know what to expect but it’s very different to being a player. The team here work extremely hard and seem to be a very close-knit bunch. I get on well with them; they don’t look at me as ‘Coley who used to play the game’ – I’m one of them now. That’s a good thing and it’s why it feels different for me now.
The best part of the role is the travelling, which has been phenomenal. Coming to places like this on tour, seeing the fans we have all over the world – I still can’t get my head around it.
Pre-season tours have changed since I played for United. More and more partners have come on board, so the tours are much bigger and a lot more is expected of the players commercially. The first team used to travel separately on scheduled flights but now we charter our own plane!